“Paralyzed” by Leonard M Parks

As your lips part to speak
My mind, races for your thoughts
Before the word rises with your breath
It divides my mind as if at war
I battle between the present and the past
Searching for clues, as to your intentions
Thousands of thoughts pass
Logically, I reduce them one by one
The acceleration of my mind tires me
Its accuracy to predict I resent
Eager, to be mistaken
Disappointed, when it is not
Finally, the word reaches my ears
All is confirmed
My expressions, paralyzed by my mind
I frantically repair my external shell
Like a blacksmith, repairs a suit of armor
I patch emotional wounds
Beating dents to my heart, back into shape
Trapping any outward signs of trauma
Through the eyes of others, expressionless
Swallowing my fears, as if to keep them from escaping
Glancing into the window
Doubt sets in.
Is it myself, or my reflection that is trembling?
I tense up and it stops
I take a deep breath
I exhale slowly, as if under water
Making each molecule of oxygen last
I can feel the pressure of the water on my body
My mind ascends
My heart pounding so loud in my ears
I am certain that others can hear
The pounding rhythm within me crying
Crying to escape
I am certain others can see
My mind sinks lower and lower
Lower, until the pressure halts the pounding
I take another deep breath
Longer, than the last
I exhale slower, slower than the last
Finally, I win control of my heart
The cycle begins again
As the next word
Rises to your lips