Suddenly incredibly nervous

The reading at Notre Dame is in less than an hour now. As I prepared my bag to leave in a few minutes, I suddenly found my heart racing. I could feel it strongly racing through my chest. I am started to rethink the poems that I’ve selected, what I might say. It might be better not to say anything and just read the poems. I am overwhelmed by what may be a very well attended reading, filled with folks who have read my work, interviews and roundtables. I am going to be on the stage with Maria Melendez, Blas Falconer, and John Murillo. These are poets I admire, grounded truly in their craft. I suddenly feel less than. How is it that I am in this space with them?

I know that this anxiety comes only from self-doubt. I would not be here if others did not believe in me and my work, and I believe that Boogeyman Dawn stands much stronger than I ever could. It is a daring work. I am daring to have written it and continue to speak it and its questions into the world. Yes. I claim that.

… stop beating so fast, heart.

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