Rachel Custer

The Way to God Runs Through a Panic Attack

The doctor warns me against drugs, orders
Ativan by injection. Peace is a heat

in the veins. A chemical seeking
the right man to minister to.

I pulse through the world like the wrong need.

Can any peace be bad? The nurse nods
off on a cot somewhere in a room

behind her eyes where I am not

crying. The last thing we are is alone.
Banging spoons, wobbling saws, off-key

blues, moving anything to make noise.
Somebody might hear, you know.

Somebody might hear. Might turn
their attention our way. Might save us.


About the writer:
Rachel Custer is the Poetry Editor and a reviewer and editorialist at O:JA&L. Her first full-length poetry collection, The Temple She Became, is available from Five Oaks Press. Other work has previously been published or is forthcoming in RattleOSU: The JournalThe American Journal of PoetryB O D Y[PANK], and The Antigonish Review. On February 13, 2019, Rachel Custer became a recipient of a 2019 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Rachel Custer is the poetry editor at O:JA&L.

Image: Camille (3) by Alejandro Rosemberg. Oil on canvas. 19.7 x 14.2 inches. 2013. By permission.

About the artist:
Alejandro Rosemberg is an Argentine fine artist trained by Claudio Bogino in the classical style of the Italian Great Masters. He studied color under Graydon Parrish at the Grand Central Academy of New York. His works are presently being exhibited in the United States and Canada, respectively represented by Principle Gallery in Virginia and White Rock Gallery in Vancouver. Passionate about teaching the techniques he uses, he invests much time and dedication to his drawing and painting classes and workshops held in Brazil, the USA, and Argentina. Rosemberg is the O:JA&L Featured Artist for February 2019.