Know that, should you bomb
in front of an audience,
know that your body will not melt
into cheap carpeting,
poorly painted wood, or linoleum tile.
Know that God will not cause a miracle
in which earth swallows you like Korach,
or in which this stage becomes a whale’s belly
where you can hide for three days like Jonah.
Know that, no matter how much you wish for it
in that moment, you will not die,
for humiliation doesn’t actually kill you.
Know that you can walk – you will walk
weak-kneed offstage with whatever dignity
you can muster. Know that you’ll come back
onstage to do it again, all that awful suffering
in front of an audience all over again,
till one day you don’t bomb.