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How are you?
Great thanks! *not so good*
big ol’ plastic smile
that’s more than enough for most –
a quick distraction, little bait and switch

Old Fear creepy clawing though veins
cortisol download, adrenaline drip
from some imagined chaos
woven of a hundred subtle triggers, or one

Doesn’t matter much

Keep jello legs moving under gritted teeth
trust the feet to know where to go
Breathe into the roiling mass
solar plexus electricus

Breathing… it’s not real, you know

Old Fear puts up a gnarled foot and stays a while
“Breathe, girl.  Go ‘head on.
Didn’t help then, won’t help now”
choked sputtering laugh

Fuck off, you old bastard
I’m so weary of you and your kind
And while you’re at it,
get your damn foot off my heart