watch me not meet your gaze.
watch stress settle beneath my eyes.
watch fear and frustration distill into tears and
see control slip away down my cheeks.
see the shredded tissue wrung by my hands.
see the blood pool red beneath my skin –
feel the silence as I retreat to berate myself.
feel how “I shoulds” tighten around on my throat.
feel the memories rising quickly and
listen to me tell you that I’m not upset.
hear my breath catch and hitch on each word.
hear how I soothe myself with shallow sips of air.
hear my heartbeat slows as we embrace.
understand it will pass.