Stage fright.

I have eaten lead my last three meals.

My face flush

My hands quake

Is this what fibrillation feels like?


I have not drank in days.

My knees knock

My feet numb

I taste blood from the lip unaware I was biting.


I bring a hand to my face

My fingers ice

My cheek inferno

The palm appeases my cheek, the cheek defrosts my palm.


I look at my scrawl on the page.

My lungs steady

My intention firm

From barren throat comes a shaken rasp.

I speak.


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