my jaws hang loose as any athlete’s legs: resolute,
still but ready. here, run your eyes along my
abdomen, watch how i breathe with my stomach.
notice the squared shoulders, prim posture,
hips half a notch forward, feet and knees apart.
speaking is this important; the best defense
is a good offense, is delivery, is communication.
i pretend i have three marbles in my mouth.
no one knows how i am panting, cramping,
dry heaving and trying to look the part,
making light of how hungry i am, how lonely,
how frightened and regretful i am of everything,
even now in this brand new republic.


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