Panic pounds back against my pulse,
lodging toward my throat to gloat,
"You are always afraid."
The tenor trembles lowly, slowly,
sliding down and oily roiling.
It boils there, to toil there,
to shake my hands and stand my hair,
it bends to break but does not care.
I say to you, I pray to you,
that hated voice cannot be true,
there are things that I must do,
there are promises to prove,
I've made a bet, and cannot lose.

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