Originally published in The Birds We Piled Loosely #15

I’m worried about crumbling tastelessly
so I search for salt
to rub on my body

but all I see is a frail man’s
stolen tablets
from the medicine

a salve
made from the spit
of a mother
for the squirm
my shoulders

one flask of fancy
the Celexa almost empty

No more heartachewort
or quietus extract

lemon juice
in the rubbing alcohol bottle.

I’m rationing my minutes and pawing
at this notion of continuous days
until they fall away

and I only do this after
the yolk of ego breaks
at the tips of our tongues
and drips down
our chins

which only happens before
I end our relationship

How desperate I am
to stop myself
from pacing
in the kitchen.

How desperate I am
to sauté serotonin
in garlic, cream
and tequila

little agonist
little poppy and lavender

and that’s only after
I create a hole
the size
of my skull
to pour it in

and I flambé the combination
and listen to it melt away
the fleshy greasy hopelessness
if only for a fleeting moment
until I can finally
look in the mirror

and see what kind of teeth
are behind
these fat lips

a sparkling result

a warm face
an insipid glisten

a smile
better than ever

a deathless shine.