Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Poem: "College-Induced Depression"

"College-Induced Depression"

I’d rather swallow mothballs than marshmallows. 

But harder than swallowing is injecting
words like hornet’s poison into
someone’s cleaner bloodstream.

Each line is a rotting apple I toss
onto your weedless lawn, a speck of mud in
your distilled glass of water.  You never

studied my blood type in your EMT training – 
You follow the laws of marshmallow fluff:
sugar = joy, white = dilution, stickiness = extraction of

venom.  But my skin holds coriander and cardamom and
cockroach shells, a whirlpool of larvae and autumn leaves. 
The maggots tickle as they await the day they’ll fly through

my lips, but you destroy them before they lay eggs in
your ears.  You strap me down and jam a feeding tube
into my throat with the other end in a gooey, sweet ocean. 

The worm I once drenched in rubbing alcohol is laughing
while sugar suffocates the tadpoles inside me.  I want
to smear my stomach acid across the walls,

but the paint roller would only soak marshmallow fluff. 
I recoil like the weaker half of a split-end hair.  And you’ll throw my bones
into a sewer and say it worked –

I was extracted, diluted, and by your standards, happy.

(Spring 2010)

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