FOUR POEMS by MARGARITA ATHANASIOU

FEARS

A fear is a funny thing. It’s a thing you have: I have a a pen pal in Thailand who has a dog with a fear of heights. Fear sounds like the humming of the elevator shaft when inactive and like elevator music when activated. To get over a fear means to no longer be under it, carrying it like a huge backpack; up a steep mountain hill, in July, in the south of France with an ex- boyfriend that smells of beer. If fear was made out of matter it would be the hugest backpack ever, made out of your own skin and bones. It would sit in your chest humming elevator music. To no longer carry the fear means to no longer be the same person. All fears are ultimately one.

SUPPORT

Support is a funny thing. It’s a thing provided to you by another: “Where on earth, where on earth, where on earth were you?” Support is an invisible net made out of braided hair that will keep you from falling. Support smells like breast milk and clean bed sheets. Support can often feel heavier than it looks.

ATTRACTION

Attraction is a funny thing. It’s a thing that causes a thing or person to want to become closer to another thing or person. Sometimes it lasts longer than others.

SENSITIVITY

Sensitivity is funny thing. It’s a thing you show: she showed me the galaxy, I showed her how it ends. Sensitivity is grown and harvested in a small cluster of stars, a short ride north of Jupiter. Its cotton-like appearance makes it extremely sought-after (and therefore expensive) here on Earth. It is used to wrap up bad news to soften the blow. It is also used to treat patients in private hospitals. Replicas are produced in China and used as props in bank adverts. Despite not being a native plant of Earth it is occasionally spotted growing in people’s gardens or underneath their beds. That is undoubtedly a miracle.