Don't Invite Me to Parties

All the noise takes up space,

Leaving no room to hear

The sound of my own voice.

It’s already quiet enough;

Measured against the loudest

Talkers and singers. I am a mouse.

My thoughts shrivel and die

In the crowded room. No one notices.

Too crowded, I feel as if

I’m sinking into a crawl space;

With the music drumming my ears loose

And chattering growing around me

Like invasive moss.

The mess of conversation makes

My teeth throb and I melt

Into the coldest sweat.

Although, it feels like I’m being tossed

In a stainless steel frying pan.

The open flame blinds me—

There’s tunnel vision.

I can’t see. What did you say?

My soul is trying to leave

My paralyzed body behind.

“Just crawl out when you can!”

It can’t abandon me just yet.

We’re tethered.

How dare it try to leave me alone.

And I still think, hopeful,

Maybe next time won’t be as bad.