Purgatory

By Emily Waryck

rancid grip of day-old vomit
curdled cheesepuff flashing neon
bubble & foam with diet coke fizz…
stuffed inside a shoebox
meant to house memories
photographs & movie-ticket stubs
but instead edges drip with bile
soggy-wet & collapsing
heave heave heave & come up
hollow
vile & unnerving
smells like early-morning an xi e
teeth scum nausea-gag
baking soda scrub
& brush & scrub
let the dentist poke & prod
finger in your mouth
just like your finger in your mouth
just like your finger
at the back of your throat
retch hurl & chuck
heart beat bird- like
aching empty throb
gag — again & again
heart-stop beating
heart-slow down
gasp breath in blow sludge back out
need a way to fix this
need a way to become e m p t y
step one : chug warm water
step two : hold back your hair
then lean over the sink and
hope it gets gone have to
get it all out & gone
shshshaky hands press coins
into the palm of the cashier
you went to high school with
smell of copper on your fingers
& you know you’ll taste it later

"Take this poison from inside of me" by Danielle Helm

“Take this poison from inside of me” by Danielle Helm

Emily Waryck is a sophomore at Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee. She is double-majoring in Creative Writing and Literature, but is also interested in Sociology, Psychology, and Philosophy. When she isn’t writing or studying, she enjoys cooking (and eating) vegan food, volunteering at the humane society, and reading work by poets like Rachel Zucker, Sylvia Plath, and Allen Ginsberg.

 

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