Twelve hands’ breadth.
Fear demands answers but accepts none. Strange that fear’s questions self-identify; that is, I hold its danger-cry as my own. ‘Answer me!’ I say.
But when the ambush subsides, I remain and fear is not with me. Untrained I may misuse the safety mechanism to great harm rather than aim carefully.
The answer is to swim away towards what land might appear or to duck under the wave and hope it should roll past. I may yet be swept away in it.
And how am I to answer? Fear in others arouses anger in me; a short-lived flame scorches my innards and strains my back. But I am least able to see my own fears’ paralyzing effects.
I scoff at their impotence unaware I am choking myself — but the answer is to expose it to the air. Let my fear not find a partner. Let me uncoil and unclench my benumbed fingers. To this extent the trap shall not succeed — no answer works elsewise.
This is the space — twelve to go and two to release.