And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?
Prufrock is persistent with his excuses on not confronting his lover. He reveals his fear of doing so by illustrating his fears of confrontation. The text annotates how Prufrock fears he will potentially be at a loss of words when his lover's eyes are "fixed" on him. He seems to be depicting himself attempting to ask his lover that question that he is contemplating. He visualizes himself being caught up in the moment unable to fulfill his intentions. He believes he will be unable to stay true to his intentions under immense pressure. He thinks he may resort stating irrelevant features of his life. The repetition of presume depicts his uncertainty of how the situation will play out.