This vice I keep
is like a limb, blistered
and useless. I swallow
it down a bloody throat,
into a pocket of stubborn hurt. There,
it unmuzzles my scream
and shrouds the sun in tar.
Why do I harvest the fear, the desperation,
in dreams where the bonds of love
collapse and I convulse
in betrayal’s shock?
Why won’t it go when my lover is true,
and honest tenderness
is the substance of his heart?
This vice I drink like
a hallucinogenic, obscures a living vow.
It has a face like an abscess, reeks
like an earthworm’s underground home.
This vice comes cruel
as a hunter’s bullet, comes like vinegar
in the eyes, baptizing my nerves
in a thieving rage, until I am
overwrought, fractured, ambushed
by its primal illogical cry.
Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst
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