d r o w n is a piece about anxiety—how it swirls and rushes around your ears and foams all over the space between the top of your brain and the bottom of your skull—how its weight compresses your spine and fills your lungs—your whole person into a head in a box in a room with the lights off—how difficult it can get to exhale.
I composed d r o w n this summer, when I was feeling anxious. The words are:
You fell asleep again with socks on
You don’t know what happened
one minute you were awake
and when You got out of bed
Your socks clung to Your feet
as though You had stepped in something sticky the night before
they clung to Your feet like hardened chrysalides
ossifying ribs around Your ankle
burning lungs, aging with You
You didn’t ask for this.
You didn’t ask for any of it.
a song about a sock—
isn’t that a footnote?
Instrumentation: piano, guitar, kalimba, piccolo trombone, recorder, broken violin with one string, voice, electronics
—Michael Gancz is a senior in Pauli Murray College.