Dear Anxiety

Steven T. Licardi, LMSW is an author, spoken word poet, social worker, motivational speaker, actor, and activist. As a child, Steven was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum that manifested as an inability to emotionally comprehend his own thoughts. Poetry and performance provided him with the language to better understand himself and the world around him. He now uses spoken word to fight for human rights around the world by eliciting empathy and inviting difficult dialogue around complex topics among diverse audiences.


Dear Anxiety,

you can’t drive a knife into my heart
by stabbing me in the back.
I’ve been living off secrets and panic attacks,
cuticles and paranoia.
Biting the skin from my bottom lip —
banana peels, strewn across my path —
to keep my self-love
bruised. Begging.

This David and Goliath match
has set everything on fire
and neither of us is willing to let the smoke settle
to see what’s worth saving.

Old Friend,
you have been surviving on cinder
and kindling,
yearning for the taste of kindness,
the blood of your sibling — I.

the point is to forgive
instead of kill.
To comfort
instead of destroy.

I always thought you were a monster,
but now I think you’re just a boy
who was never understood.
Pinocchio was made of wood
and his nose grew when he lied,
but he wanted so desperately to be real.

Maybe you are made of lies
and you grow every time
I tell myself
that they are real.

One thought on “Dear Anxiety

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s