He stands to read.
He takes a deep breath.
Looks over the page.
Why does "boat" have to match with "moat" or "float" or "dote"?
He can speak it straight up but he has to write it lyrically.
It's a concept he understands.
But his images don't.
It's like he's stuck in 1st grade.
"Cat. Bat. Sat."
He can't catch the spoken word.
"Rat. Mat. Pat."
He's filled with anxiety.
"They're all going to laugh.
What I'm about to read is my own epitaph."
There he goes.
Thoughts wired so that every word has an equal end.
He takes a deep breath and begins.
Promising himself in the only way he can.
"Next time, without a rhyme."