I was brought up from sleep
having swallowed a stink bug.
In self-defense, it ejected its spray
of bitter bile & I was unable
to breath deeply for an hour.
The press of coffee tasted
But eventually, my body
fought back the ancient chemical
—it is always trying to straighten me out.
I ought to be thankful for
my internal pharmacy. I am not. Something about gratitude seems dishonest
or forced, when directed at my
faculties. No, it is not just that. All sorts
of gratitude, even as a little boy
with zero axes to grind, like hiccups—
it has always gotten caught in my craw.
There is suicide in it.