Phobophobia is a poem by Hopewell Valley Central High School junior Edison Hicks & was published in Panorama, the literary arts magazine.


I have the most absurd of fears.
I fear insects, spiders, all the classic creatures.
Their spindly legs just barely causing a sensation, a pinprick
As I contort and spin trying to get them off my skin.

I fear confrontation even when I’m not the instigator.
If something changes how we interact for the worse,
I’d rather not change at all.
I fear that I’ll be forgotten, that I will fade into obscurity.
I write so often my fingers have memorized the computer keyboard
Because I want to create a legacy for people to remember me by.
I fear the dark, a depressive spiral I can’t come back from.
I feel trapped, like a manhole cover is censoring the sun.
I also don’t like power outages at night, for different reasons.

I fear that I’m the only bad liar.
That everyone is in on some scheme to tear me down
(something I do to myself regardless).
I fear myself sometimes.
I have the dedication to create at unrelenting and inhuman amounts
But seem to seize up when the smallest teaspoon of responsibility enters my mind.
I fear that my writing is too much.
I imagine such strange scenarios to twist into a narrative,
Forcing myself to live in a static world.

I fear that eloquence will be my downfall.
Something so vital to creativity
I didn’t know it would cloud my conversations.
I fear anxiety as a concept.
The idea that my own mind is steps ahead of me
waiting to trip me for no good reason,
that is an idea that I wish upon almost no one.
I fear change, and sometimes a lack thereof.
These constantly changing rules are hard to upkeep
I can’t bend to anyone’s will that quickly.

“I have the most absurd of fears.”
Maybe I’m a good liar who convinced myself of these claims.
Maybe that mindset is the self-deprecation I fear.
Maybe my fear from love is justifiable.
But “maybe” applies to a lot of things.
Definitive facts are few and far between,
So I have no basis for consistency.
All that’s left are my fears.
It’s better than nothing.

About the author, Hopewell Valley Student Publications Network

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