easier to poke, prod, squeeze my pores
than to deal with the anxiety
that pours through my chest,
bubbles to the surface, pools with my sweat
in the most uncomfortable places, prickling
like tiny forest fires and I’m all parched brush
I’ve never seen myself blush
I assume I do when I blaze hot
enough to cook chicken to safe temperatures
You shake your head but you haven’t lived
in my oven-cheeks or my furnace-armpits
Better? more mature? healthier for my skin? heck no

yet I’ve purged something that should not live in me
even though it’s not the demon I wanted to expunge