Every morning I wake up heavier,

my throat filled with dirt. What I can’t hack up

wash down with coffee and cough syrup.

I try to rinse the smell of wet cigarettes

from my body as I pick out

the stones and animals that get caught inside

my chest. When I leave, the world is the same:

The Others walk by, skirts lighting the way,

barely pausing to look beyond the inside

of their eyes. I recognize some, like Grease and Ash,

who ignore me, as I ignore them.

It’s easier to look away than stare

at faces worn like mine. Then I work,

replace the ground dried by the sun with large

pieces of my cheek and the new jobs always

with my back. I yell, as my wounds grow new,

to no-one, constantly. It goes slowly.

Most nights, I drink and bury my head long

enough to want to go home. Every day

I’m less surprised by this life

and consider, for a moment, the tub.

How long would it take to dig through

my stomach, drag as much intestine

as my hands can hold and cram them down my throat

until I found purpose?