Axiom by Dillon J. Welch


General anxiety can feel, at times, like being sat on by a large, docile bear. The bear so calm, the day so weak in its grievances, yet you still can’t get the damned thing to move.”
                                               Leann Rimes (March, 2023)

I’ve always had the irrational fear I’d be tied up and interrogated. Southern wander, maybe I’d be pretend-husking corn off a freeway in Kansas. Maybe an unmarked white van comes and scoops me up like a tossed burlap of weighty potatoes. I’d be knocked unwilling with the butt of a pistol. The world would taste like salt and whispers. And then I’d come to, all frantic jerks and curious knowing. There’d be one fantastic bright light and the room smelling of gas, and the binding, my arms looped through chair rungs, a rope or a zip tie holding my hands calm. Anything but, I’d wear distress on my chin like a cat dropped in water.

Lucy, I can see it in the way you wish me well. You want so badly a piano to drop from a rooftop and explode, unwilling, at the tip of my feet. To prove the world all windfall and no planning. I can see it in the way your palms flatten on the formica in my kitchen. You’re knocking down my door and expecting the worst, supposing a gash in my bedroom window’s screen. Maybe a crowd surrounding what once was a body. A vigil in a smallish steeple three blocks from your flat. The priest speaking softly of meals devoured and silent triumphs: the boy I’d stopped from crossing in traffic, a certain radiance in my tilted posture. He’d compare me to Psalms. He’d dress me up in gold-strewn cloth. He’d breathe by way of homily:

                               sometimes the willing 

     start fires, just to put them
                    out again.



Dillon J. Welch is a writer from Southern New Hampshire. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, PANK, Hobart & others. He has two chapbooks: I Fall in Love with Every Attractive Woman I Meet from NAP (May 2013) & Domestic: A How-to Guide for Couples from White Knuckle Press (forthcoming, July 2013). He is Poetry Co-Editor for the online quarterly, Swarm. Find him at:


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