Stung

A strange sensation,
prickly and painful,
under my ribs.
Shortening my breath
tingling underneath
tightening my stomach,
an unusual kind of pain,
anxiety they call it, I think.
I’m waiting, hoping
that it will release its hold
yet it’s clutching ever more violently
making me bend over,
huddle, groan, and gasp.
Whispers and images
keep shifting in my mind,
a kaleidoscope of faces,
words, occasions, places.
I can’t help but think of winter,
and you.
That’s when I feel
the bitterest of stings,
underneath my ribs.

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