true fear is indelible
the sensation does not recede
even though cause is long forgotten
it is a new way of seeing the world
the opening of door 
never to be shut again
when I look deep into poetry
it is not associated with prizes 
or sales figures
I think of small, dark spaces
stale air, and the way a person’s throat 
cinches and burns, craving
fighting to find
the very air
for their next breath
Michelle Hartman’s new book, Wanton Disarray, just published, along with her other books, Disenchanted and Disgruntled, Irony and Irreverence & The Lost Journal of my Second Trip to Purgatory, are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Hartman’s work has been published in numerous journals as well as various other countries. She is the former editor of Red River Review.

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