A wave of mucus and snot cascades out of his nose
collecting in the soft awaiting tissue. It caresses
the nostrils, wiping up what has been left behind
and gets tossed carelessly in the garbage, infecting
all that come near with a similar fate.
He lays, not on a throne of sexual pleasures,
or even a cloud of pleasurable dreams,
but on lumpy surface where he tosses and turns.
Covers on, covers off, covers on, covers off.
How does one get off this dizzying ride?
He slurps ginger ale and crunches crackers
a promising meal for a churned stomach
while the essence of meatloaf fills his lungs
teasing his rumbling tummy. Something
hammers inside his head; he closes his eyes.
The red of the mercury is less than the day before
and he forces himself out of his tomb. His nose is
clear of snot, the hammering is silent, and the
queasy ache has disappeared, but crumpled up
tissues remain, littering the battlefield with memories
Buy eggs, milk, oj, cereal, ½ pound chicken
paper plates that won’t break when thrown
Deposit check on counter before 5
take your name off account while there
Pay electric bill
don’t forget to shut off front porch light at night
Shut all windows so neighbors don’t hear
close the blinds so they don’t see
Pick up prescription
buy bandages, ointment, and cover-up, too
Get suitcase down from attic to pack
don’t forget toothbrush
Leave key on counter when you go