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Poetry Winter 2021

when you dreamt you nearly drowned me

by Sophie Boyd-Fliegel

i tried installing a shower drain
in my sternum
i texted like 10 surgeons
each had some version of

no
nastiness will stick down there
not just lotions in gummed up hair
but ash and crumbs and smells too

the fumes of jealousy will stain
like wine and stripe the bones
if any bleach in rage hits
ammonia in fear youll be done

then theres all the little things
belly marbles of contempt
ulcers of unread emails
tonsil stones of regret

might swallow too-small clothes
that slip past the solar plexus
where they’ll rot so bad
you can’t forgive your parents
 
youll need more pills one doctor said
to block all nightmares at the neck
youll want to cast your clavicle
in false praise and cement

he sent the scripts and that emoji
w/ a zipper for a smile
from another just screenshots of gauze
1. stuff down your esophagus
2. call ambulance for side effects

i was recommended apple sauce
i was referred to a psychiatrist
i bought extensions for my spinal cord
but got all tangled in the wires

im stuck i decided
ive got water on the tongue
so i wrote im out of office
packed a stethoscope and drove

until i reached the thin horizon
where in a haze of eucalyptus
with the metal to my diaphram
unanesthetized and mirrorless

i held a needle to my center
and my breath so i could listen
past years of rust and mold
i tore my own drain open 

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