Creative Process

My creative process
is a bomb defusal
in a crowded room
where the people
keep wandering by
to peek over my shoulder.

My mother cringes
as I touch the red wire,
so I drop the pliers
and pick up a screwdriver.
Left, left, left —
until the screw wiggles
and I hear my old professors
sigh in unison
— right, right, right.

I pore through the pages
of a tear-stained manual
but can’t concentrate
amidst the impatient chatter
of an Instagram following.
I press a button on a whim
and brace myself.
A gasp. A cry.
But nothing happens.

For a moment
I think this might be luck,
but as the voices die
I hear it in the silence:
tick, tick, tick.
The trickle of time running out.

I check the manual.
There is a whisper.
I whip the book to the floor.
A muffled clatter.
A tut and a groan.
I pick it up again
and get back to work.

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