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Panic Attack

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

A background photo shows rows of beige school desks with black chairs. In front of the photograph is white text that says Poetry Panic Attack by Anusha Vavilikolanu

It starts out quiet. Terror muffles my ears Words, black smudges Heartbeat faster and faster Air thinner and thinner.

Thoughts as fish in a river, Classmates becoming blobs of colors Forced into captivity, I exit the room.

My footsteps stall the inevitable Senses blur into oblivion Body slides against the wall. Feet collapse Arms fall My thoughts scream.

I’m going to die.  I can’t  see Can’t breathe Can’t move Can’t think

I’m going to die.

Finally, my breathing settles My chest throbs from exhaustion The white hallway blinks into view Through tears running down my face. Students laugh in the distance I am overwhelmed with shame.


Anusha Vavilikolanu is an undergraduate student at Emory University, originally from Austin, Texas. She is a poetry enthusiast, currently writing poems for her own pleasure.


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