The Cough

The fractured stone tunnel hollows.

Browned winter leaves
crackle into crumbs.

Birds’ humming stirs into
a white blanket of silence.

That’s when we deadlock to distrust
& wake, shirts faded, stained

with verbal gunshots. Never
too early for shared cocktails,

never too healthy, or sick,
for what you know to be lodged

in your esophagus, bits of
chicken & asparagus held

together as a spell, or a mantra:
shake me, martini, shake me.

Make me loathe a little more.

 

(originally published in Random Poem Tree, Winter 2016)

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