Poetry

Poem- Tonic

tonic

hourglass sand
sold by the gram
crushed shells
premature mirrors
ground into musts
ivory merchant
quinine empress
let this one go
the others will pass
safety-pinned papers
amber and salt

flames in the cave
bright as a flare
umbrella for star-dust
sea in those eyes
flags in the distance
boardwalk collapsed
seagulls and fish heads
a mermaid’s bust

the protector works part-time
allows knowledge of the tears
tries to wear a uniform
previously worn to galas

while the chest hurts
and the stomach shrinks
you need more water
cardboard tongue

you don’t want to be alone
but you can barely stand up
the opportunist stole from you
the sadist made you bleed
the nightmare kept you up
you just want the king

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