I Heard You're Claustrophobic


So I heard you’re claustrophobic

That you turned yourself into Peter Pan’s worst nightmare

sentient shadow no one can find

That must be pinned and confined

Caught so they can bind you to

Everything they think you should be

that you haunt corners  and crevices

Much too small for your spirit

that you can’t breathe


I heard you’ve learned to be flexible

To bend the way they tell you

Cause you’re always enclosed inside four wants


Your families

Your friends

And yours

Yours is the bottom of the totem pole

And you’re constantly hoping no one looks down

some friends and some family push in from the sides

 so tight

They almost suffocate you

And if you look up you can see society

Looking down

You’re brown boxed so tight

the perfect package

with a surprise inside

And you can’t breathe


 I’m no paper bag

I’m no inhaler

And I heard it wasn’t quite safe for you to inhale anyway

cause the world has failed you in a way

And that’s something we can vibe on

I’m not in a closet

But I know what its like to consider not breathing

Because the world makes you believe you don’t deserve air

It isn’t fair that people who are afraid of your brilliance

don’t care that you’re afraid of tight spaces

haven’t they heard that you are claustrophobic


cause I heard you screaming for oxygen

I heard you crying for O2

I heard you

And I reached out

ready to turn locks

and smother you in acceptance

watch you choke on love instead stale air

but I know what you really need is space

a safe open space 

to unlock your door yourself

when you do

It will be an honor to meet you 

Guide that inspired this poem: 



Wow. Everything about this a great and true. I love your Peter Pan metaphor, I love the center of the page format (it definitely establishes the feeling of being squeezed in and claustrophobic). Claustrophobia is a perfect way to describe the feeling of expectations, whether they're real or only imagined, closing in on you. Even to this day whenever I go up to see my grandparents or even talk to my own parents, I feel a certain level of discomfort: I feel like I'm being squeezed in and can't breathe, because all I want to do is tell them EVERYTHING about ME, the REAL ME, including but not only my sexuality, but I'm too afraid. I definitely don't come from the type of family that likes to express emotions or deep thoughts much and everyone's pretty religious so I never know what's expected of me and who I'm supposed to be around my family and I realize it's all mostly my own anxiety but it's also kind of society's fault too that I feel like I need to figure out who my family, my own family, wants me to be and then to be it.

Anyway, I love your writing SO MUCH. So...yeah. Bye.

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