Something seems to have changed
in the stress I feel this past year.
It’s not the violent, volcanic
sensation I’ve known my whole life.
It feels more sinister:
slow-burning, with serpentine fuse,
and patiently awaiting ignition.
It knows that in a matter of time
it will go off. It knows that
in the meantime it will chisel away
at me until my bones are but bare
and hollow tunnels.
What seems to worsen it
is the realization that I’m unlearning
stress and meeting it again for the first time.
That doesn’t make it all bad news:
all I need to do is get to know it again,
and in time it will learn to fade
and shut up.
But then it becomes
a matter of when,
and that sobering thought
sets in, leaving me
with that dull, slow-burning feeling
that’s easy to ignore.