raw and possible


Initially I see these two wiry bony consecrated hands, sharp-tipped and skinny, long fingers with severely, gorgeously articulated joints, reaching down into a throat, through mouth, beyond lips and teeth and tongue, past the epiglottis, I think, past uvula and gag reflex and there is no hope of vomiting because this is going down. I see them inside, the two hands, the fingers catching hold of a wizened greenish-greying mass, this sticky dripping lump, something squeamish, tender, almost furry or corrugated, entirely encapsulated in slime — something like a hairball or a carcass, the body of an alien life form, but without tendrils or tentacles — something without hope or fever or mental status.

Something incoherent. Or inchoate. Or both.

The hands pull it out of its lodging the way you yank something nearly rotted and festering out of the disposal chamber in your sink — gingerly, quick, with steady pressure, hoping your fist will fit on the way back out with you holding to the pile of not yet decomposed foodstuffs mixed with peach bits or bones or a spoon, all of which is tangling up the blades of your disposal — I mean your throat.

It’s become its own colony, this amalgamation: collecting every loop that got slipped around your neck, every swallowed I said no thank you, every murmured Please stop , every unspoken I wish you would, every clenched teeth mumbled Jesus Christ will you just get the fuck away from me, every Gosh I don’t know that issued from between your lips instead of the facts that gathered boom like metal to magnet         on the other side of the gathering storm in your throat. Numbers, equations, dates, names, places, hopes, longings, dreams: all tangled together, knotted and nearly putrid         but not quite         just like the compost can be. You know it’s all good stuff in there, even if it has been left all on its own to fester and decompose

The fingers begin to pick and pull at the mass, brushing away green slime         saliva and more caught for so many years, what got washed down your gullet — and your throat is bone sore, stretched and aching, wheezing empty with sound         cavernous, open, raw and possible

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