Sleeping with Anxiety

By Bre Lillie

Step One: Close your eyes.
When it climbs on your face like a spider
monkey /
and tries to pry your eyelids open
remember this isn’t a dream, and it is.
Step Two: Cover your ears and pray.
The silence will become less deafening
with practice. /
Try not to listen too closely to its breathing .
Step Three: Don’t stare
at the claw marks on the wall.
Refer to step one.
Step Four: The footsteps
you hear creeping up behind you
are only heartbeats.


Bre Lillie is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, where she lives with a spoiled American Bully named Ellie Mae and picks wild blackberries every summer. She works in Human Resources and Safety for a manufacturing plant in the nearby city of Concord. Beginning in the fall of 2018, she will be an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.