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Well-Read Man
by John Picinich

Something's not right
    inside me --
my stomach churns, cuts into my belt
    as I sit in my tight cubicle, 
making me hunch over my computer,
    the DNA mapping program forgotten,
as dancing dust motes cloud my eyes.

Something strikes me 
    as too familiar
about this stab through my intestines -- 
    as if a hint of soft whispers
shoots endorphins along my neural pathways -- 
    yet somehow they stop short of memory
to remain tantalizing tidbits of vague unease.

Something spreads
    like cancer -- 
sears my spine, clamps my cerebellum,
    my knees get heavy, my arms go limp -- 
tentacled shadows are probing pincer-like
    and before I blank out I know that
something's reading me like an open book.

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"Well-Read Man" ©2000 John Picinich. Used by permission of the author.
 Raven Electrick ©2000 Karen A. Romanko. Clipart by Corel®.