My heart is a fist
clenched tightly in my chest,
a monkey fist
to match my monkey mind.

Liquid bowels
and breath blown back into my lungs
by the frozen winds of fear.

How do you run
surrounded by the amber of panic?
How do you stay
when you cannot face the next thing?

And what if that next thing is a simple task?
Something people do every day?
Something you’ve done a million times before?

But not today.
Today it is terror
that no one else sees.

A chasm you cannot cross.
A weight that will crush you,
A wave that will wash you away.

“Get on with it”, they say.
“Be rational and do
what you must do.
It will not go away.”

And they are right.

In a moment
or a day,
the icy fingers around your throat
will melt
and release you.

The tiger becomes a kitten.
And the demons
just shadows on the wall.


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