by November 9, 2017 0 comments

I have swallowed the cardboard,
chewed it to a pulp and gulped
it down. It tasted like stale,
dirt, and chemicals. Scabbed my tongue—
a hard pill to swallow.

The lump stayed in my throat,
through the flight and back to Dallas
through my body dissolving.
It made my limbs creaky and slow—
a hard pill to swallow.

And through the hospital it stayed,
the world of soft blankets and voices.
I stood flimsy and moist. My eyes grew
at the sight of you, small, ill-kept.
A hard pill to swallow

because when you swallow with eyes
nothing can wash it down. Unblinking,
the nurses sit and stare at their phones,
here only to watch the risk. They give
a hard pill. To swallow,

I hold up water in a plastic cup, because
your arms are useless in bandages.
They look like dead crabs. I try to give
you shelter, but I am made out of cardboard—
a hard pill to swallow.

editors note:

No comfort in cardboard; ill circumstance for both. – mh clay

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