Under the Stage Lights

I can’t breathe!
Some vine has snaked its way
up my throat from my belly below;
it lays heavy on my tongue.

I’ve been here before:
abandoned by Confidence
in a last-minute ambush.
My heart punches mercilessly.
I fear it will break through, and flop,
like a fish, on the wooden floor.
My trembling hands clench together for
comfort, but find none.
At last I open my mouth to speak.
Out falls dead leaves.
The wobble in my voice is not vibrato;
nothing operatic unfolds.


I will try again tomorrow