keeps me awake,
my head full of
my own voice,
which I have heard
all day.
Too much typing
I think,
my own inflection
is stalking my
Work from the last
two years that
I have scarcely
looked at.
I am afraid now
to see what it was.
The critic marches
in, brandishing swords,
I ask if you will
give feedback
and then think better of it.
For fear of what
you’ll say,
of giving you
too much power
the capacity
to stop my life,
to halt breathing
as though you
unplugged me.
Where better to turn
I don’t know,
someone out of town,
at least out of the house,
who doesn’t speak
to me as you
sometimess do,
cocking your head back
to say something
I hear as smug,
like when you remind
me of your Ph.D.
in reading.