next

i recite what i am about to say
over and over again
in my head
i feel it when
paying at the cashier
calling a stranger
walking through a room filled with staring eyes
having to answer a question i don’t know the answer to
it’s in
introductions
and goodbyes
it consumes me
in what seems like an intensely strong, intoxicating grasp
it’s warm
as if i’ve been put into a sauna
but i’m the only one who can feel it
it’s jitter inducing
my foot is tapping
my fingers are fiddling
the word
“next”
is a trigger word
“next in line”
“you’re up next”
“who’s next?”
it’s almost immediate
that word
lights up a firecracker in my throat
and suddenly
im breathless
i find my self holding my breath
and squeezing my sweaty palms together in tight fists
some people find simple social interactions completely normal
comfortable, in fact
unfortunately
i am not one of those people
when i talk
at times
all of my words escape me
i write to say the words i neglect to say in everyday life
i write to express what my mind bottles up
but never has the courage to release
i write to feel something
something different from the monotonous nature of day to day loads
i write as if the ideas and words
are flowing out of me in a whirlwind of powerful gusts of wind
and tumbling waves
what traps me
in the real world
is never strong enough
to keep me completely silent
and for that
i am forever grateful
to the written word

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