I try to catch a breath

A breath that drifts away before

My trembling hands can grasp

Again and again I try for a breath

Never quite achieving

Shallow, rapid flutters of my chest

A sad mimicry of breathing

Small claws tear away at my ribs

Each attempting to break free

Rip me open

Squirming beasts wriggle in my lungs

Twisting, flipping, flapping

Constantly beating an uneven rhythm

Against the inside of the cage

 

I claw back

Desperation welling to just

Make

It

Stop

Stop the wriggling, squirming,

Clawing mess

That lives within my chest

 

Despite my best efforts

My clawing can do nothing to end theirs

A barrier of flesh and ribs stand guard

 

Lungs fight back

Attempt to expand

Desperate to breathe

Crying for air

 

The war rages on

My body the unwitting battleground

Keeping the fight invisible

From all those who pass by

Unaware of what lies within