Sometimes the rush overwhelms me,
taking the stage, cheeks burnt, blood boiled,
the words burst out in a voice I barely know.
Coming down, pulse aflutter, knees weak.
I’ve hardly time the to breath between acts,
a new costume, new Blanche, new lies to spin,
and though I’m chaos, a calm is buried underneath.
Yet there are instances when the rush takes hold,
pulls me under, sinks me in shallow water,
engulfs me in a crowd, drenches my lungs in a small room,
panic seizing my limbs like shackles
toes clenched in wet dirt, drowning on the rain.
There’s regret for all that time lost frozen
under streetlamps and behind parked cars.
I will not weep for what I could not speak,
too frightened to give away a single word –
the best safety lies in fear after all.
It is dull, uneventful, a meek and mediocre way to live,
but at least I took the risk to live.
I’ll raise no banners, stir no pond, nor break a quiet dawn,
but wait ‘til panics pass by for the cover of familiarity.
I hope for this anxiety, pray for it
to wash over me and make me something new,
transform me into someone I don’t quite know.
Perhaps I will enjoy this one, perhaps I’ll toss her off,
step back, and watch the slow fall in reverse,
for that moment of core-shaking clarity when I see ME –
and run from fear.