I Dream of My Death – TheScreamOnline
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I Dream of My Death

Dressed in a rubber
apron and a bracelet of bleach
to cleanse my sins,
I shop

for a skeleton. Black
light and re-breathed
air, floating voices
steered

to Taco Time and Jamba
Juice, moist maze
of bodies evaporating
their sins

into mine. Don’t they know
I don’t fit into their air
anymore? Tell me
it wasn’t

Miss Perfect Clerk
in Victoria’s Secret
with the plastic hanger,
my lukewarm

chai tea splashed
on the 38Ds. I search
every store and kiosk, but no
skeletons

in my size, they were all
bought up, stuck
in dark car trunks, where
bone

marrow shines. Am I
the only one
who sees lightning?
My retinas

are damaged beyond
repair, Binyon’s lost
the tiny screw
to fix

the plates in my dissolving
bones, I am sucked
in, drained of fluids,
a cornhusk.

The escalator fits my flesh
perfectly,
the steps at the top
disappear.

*

In a breach of muscle-car
contusion, I run smack
dab into hot candy red,
delicious snap of gunpowder
powering up my nose,
POW!
Christopher Hitchens
has hitched a ride
in the backseat.

My tongue is thick
with grit, my sick heart dines
on china and bone,
a rosary drapes the sky,
canopy of holy cards
hovers over the overpass,
sucking up my mettle.
Artifacts burst
me into flames, my throat
gone, my blood singed.

Mr. Hitchens plays with a kid’s
kaleidoscope, shines the shifting
pattern into the rearview mirror:
Rusty nails rise from my split
wood, weave through
the eye of a needle.
My metal galvanizes.

*

Fake carbonation lulls me,
while I chew Bazooka

sizzling in lightning.
Am I lost?

I sprinkle bleach on prayers floating by,
suction out grime,

cough up striations.
A muscle tunnels through me,

it knows every crevice and shadow,
every crease, every hair on my head.

Windows rush by, my lips
shred in the wind.

I am not propelled
by gunpowder.

My bones carry carved-out
marrow turned to glacier.

Ice is slippery, otherwise
how would I get through?

Eileen Pettycrew grew up on a farm in California’s San Joaquin Valley and has lived in Portland, Oregon, since 1981. Her poems have appeared in Gold Man Review.

Photo ©Richard Beban