Not The Middle

I count them out and line them up.
Two by two like Noah.
Seven. Eight. Nine.
Ten, if you count the Lysine.
My sanity depends on these familiar
synapses in my brain
these Bob Ross happy little trees.
Calm. Floating. Serenity.

I go from stable to manic in a breath.
I cannot feel it coming.
Six. Five. Four.
Four, if you count your own breaths;
the time it takes you to respond
is the time it takes me to come undone.
Impulsive. Unreasonable. Pertubation.

I wear the cherry apron for you.
I smile and fold.
Three. Two. One.
Too many, if you count the breeding socks.
My stability depends on routine;
these lonely little things.
Productive. Submissive. Yearning.

All in the time it takes you to draw a breath.

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