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Mar 2014
repetitive two- or three- word phrases
are the outer limit of my vocabulary
when all i can hear is
my pulse in my throat and
my hands and legs rattling
against the floorboards.

my back is spiraling into itself,
searching for my stomach, for my lungs,
searching for a reason for this
suffocating pain and imminent death.

my eyes can't settle on any single object,
because everything is fragile
and i'm afraid to watch anything break-
maybe it's because i watched you break,
i watched my words break your trust,
i watched my actions wreck your beliefs.

a few minutes later, when the attack passes
and i'm alone on my bedroom floor,
i detach my arms from around my knees,
shove myself up with whatever strength i can muster,
and scrub yesterday's makeup
from the bags under my eyes.

someday i'll look back on this
and i'll see that i was a warrior.
a warrior with holes in my armor.
a paladin without a proper breastplate,
lacking the internal systems
that offer refuge during something as simple
as a panic attack.
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