Howard Firkin
Heart sick, brain sick, soul sick. I cannot live
like this. I’m cell sick to my inmost core—
can’t stomach my reflection anymore,
can’t stand the sight, sound, smell of me. Forgive
me nothing. Nothing’s all you’ll get.
My stomach bubbles nausea, a pot
of bones, fat, greasy stock on rolling boil,
its smell coats everything in rancid oil.
I vomit nothing. Nothing’s all I’ve got.
Do you recall those things which I forget?

While everybody smiles and makes polite
demands and ask why they don’t see me more,
I’m trapped in slow and ever darker night
to twist and retch bile slime up on the floor.