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  You could have a big dipper   

Google: trouble breathing comma heart racing by Lukas Ray Hall

on the couch counting

my heartbeats. pointer & middle

pressed against the lump

in my throat. with every thump

nostrils attempt to reel in air but

like a stubborn fish, i’m left

gasping & empty, gutless.

i am suggested to dial 911

if i think this is a heart attack

& how would i know

if this one is a heart attack?

i’ve never had a heart

attack before. a blockage,

a shortage, the arrhythmic

pounding of blood flow. sure,

i’ve seen those words before

but I don’t know

what those words mean.

do i have mild indigestion,

sure. i have night sweats

& fatigue but is that not normal?

i am told not all heart attacks

are alike so how am i to know

if this is like the others

or if i’m unique or if the dinner

i just ate was too large

& my diaphragm is struggling

to compensate for the bloat.


Lukas Ray Hall holds an MFA from Pacific University. They are the author of 'loudest when startled' (YesYes Books, 2020). Their poems have appeared in The Florida Review, Moon City Review, & Atlanta Review, among others. They live in St. Paul, MN. Twitter: @lukasrayhall.

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