I restrain
the most difficult emotions
in a holding cell
until circumstances change
and I check
for bodily injuries
to determine
if drawn blood
changes equations.

Later I release
compressed feelings
and view them
like a newsreel
before allowing them
to engage
with my body.

Even then
I may overestimate
my capacity to handle
concepts and prejudices
desires in conflict with reality
and crumble to the ground
as my knees buckle
from the tremors.

While on the floor
I search for any word
to load into oration’s shotgun
so I might return fire
even if my words hit only
the ghost of my interactions.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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