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Elizabeth Lee

In the Pufferbelly

Well here it is, the sensible wool suit
Of sobriety without caffeine, heavy
in the palm of my hand transformed
into a porcelain cup for my chin.
You say, these particular truths do not ferment
So things never let go, but are held
In centripetal force, gnashed out
Through some asthmatic spiritual hurdy-gurdy
Or written out by hand in a blue room with fluorescent lighting.
That's what I really want to know,
Are things getting better?
Far from those red light moments
Blurring into one shape, the same in every direction
When I could never tell how much was too much
Always beginning with some lousy Republican
Always ending with the ticket in the frying pan
Plastic tubes up my nose, down my throat
Dredging up every ounce of fire, replacing with ash.

    Funny, I had eggs, french toast, hash browns
    And three cups of coffee the morning after.

Yes, I am much better now
Better left with the mundane questions:
What do you want for dinner?
I will not eat chili-mac,
My stomach walls demand I find new fervor,
or there'll be no more digestion. It says
It's on your mind it's in your mouth it's pork,
So find a replacement for your ulcer, goddamnit.
But am I left speechless to accusations,
Or can I decree ultimatums?
I will not wallow in conformity
I will not own shoe trees
I will not buy a Saturn
And have those syrupy salespeople crawling all over me
to please me, make me happy. Like you.

You may continue to make and eat god
Send out your advice on postcards
But a thousand miles to Michigan
Lets you forget while I'm left to find a way
To leave off after two glasses and keep myself from
Sleeping next to old laundry and pizza boxes.

Do tell me if charcoal is the right color.

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