When I Stood: Stage Fright

When I stood in front of the crowd,

I wanted to run, but my voice wavered,

my hands shook.

 

When I stood in front of the crowd,

I wanted to cry like I did when I was child,

tears streaming freely and unabashed,

but my lump grew, my palms sweated.

 

When I stood in front of the crowd,

I wanted to stop like I did when

I picked last for kickball and I

ran into the middle of nowhere,

among the yellow grass and whir of insects,

picking at my skin until red leaked out of the

black tarmac.  

 

When I stood in front of the crowd,

I screamed with fervor, my heart swollen

by passion cushioned by the love of familiar

face and the hands of strangers. 

 

Once I was done with the crowd,

I ran outside, cried, and stopped.

 

The tears, the grass, the love

were all at distance, all likely to be forgotten

in the shroud of the night and the glow of the moon. 

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