R+X

the pharmacist
in her white coat
behind the coffin counter

instructed me to call the one-
eight-hundred number

but one plus eight equals nine
and nine is the first number
in nine-one-one
and there are two zeroes
in one-eight-hundred and
two ones in nine-one-one
and if you rotate the number
it’s a four-story building
crooked at the hollow nest
and what of the four
zero floors –
the barren families, pine
and needle. They scrape and dial
my throat’s frigid tones,
white shell.

I chewed my gum and thought,
what a pleasant sound ducks’ feet must make
when they waddle.
soft-boiled trampolines.

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