phone a friend

I was asked to read some poetry at the local bookstore
opening for a pretty well known writer
and I responded as quick as I could to the email
because I didn’t want to lose that chance
but as the reading came closer I started to question everything I had ever written
not sure why it had even been allowed to touch paper
and leave the vacuum of brain space
it suddenly got so loud
where it had been so
the days before the reading
I started getting shorter
every part of me
my words
my reactions
my eye contact
because I wasn’t an expert
there were no citations at the bottom of my word docs
no founding for my statements or form
just some thoughts
pulled from my brain space
that vacuum
where I was the only thing I could hear
but now I was supposed to tell other people
what I heard
and it’s hard to know if any of it was worth telling

I walked in holding the pizzas you asked me to pick up
for everyone to eat before the show
and at the slightest pressure of
“how’s it goin’?”
it all fell out

I have no idea what poetry is

and you said
“if you’re lucky, it’ll always feel that way”

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