Anticipatory Avoidance is My Mental State

A Poem

By Masoodah Mohamed

”I am a member of (AA) anticipatory avoidance”
My breath scratches the roof of death.
Coarseness grates pink skin into
keratin confetti showers.
I am one foot in the wall,
several untimely steps behind.
An unholy grail of unlikely events
leaves signs for those who can see grief
even when it hides in butterfly-shaped boxes.


”I fled my body to write this poem”
There are oceans in your body trying to find the shore.
Each sound-carrying wave echoes a different sin.
Some sins carry fear, some bend in sorrow,
grief whispers steady.
shame swallows
wails into the distance,
not knowing that’s how tsunamis are born.
Catastrophe receding before release.


I stored an unnecessary load upon my mind, continuously tried to protect it.
These factory settings led me to thousands of km’s in hundreds of days.
Until I woke up conscious in strangers’ land.
Discrete moments paused on multiple monitors in my head.
They have started to simultaneously play.
My body doesn’t want to stop reminding me how I survived.
A treacherous creature it has become.