Panic Attack

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.