Lungs seized,
phantom claws
split my ribs,
jab my spine
like barbed wire.
Strands of blood
slither down my cheek
and spit across
my pillow.

I gasp for air,
heart hammering
with panic.
Flames engulf
my throat and chest.
A bell-like ring
invades my ears;
my bony fingers
clasp my blanket.

Inside my lungs
is a thunderstorm,
each rumble spliced
by lightning.
I struggle
to release a scream
but nothing comes
except silence.