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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