if the next day
i feel a burst beneath my pinky toe
lift my foot in disgust
to find a dime of green mush
ground into the tile’s grout
i will probably not cry
despite my pulsing eyelids
the way my head whirs and burns
and the poison swirls in my lower gut
i will not growl
either i have no propensity for anger
i think i will sink to the floor
curl up in a pea
and press my cheek into the caulking
hard enough to leave an impression
What strikes me most is how implicit
it is in writing to self-condemn
before you’ve even begun. Words
wrung from my folds like an old
dish rag, starved over the faucet
only until exposed to the stream
then for the wringing. The echo
of a landline brr-inging
through an empty home, hiss of a lit match
and the whir. Smoke wisps and dissipates
the thin line of motivation
dwindling. Or is it fear? A lost voice
when you need to scream for safety.
An intermittent lapse in judgement
When you’ve assumed yourself sound.
Can I become the next iteration of me
already? I flinch at loud volumes, lately.
Headache at simple puzzles, unhinged
by unfit pieces; a complete mirror
meltdown could externally appear as nothing
like when I see my blank face reflected
in the window of a train car
urged to palm my nose into my brain.
Does death smell like dish soap
or is that only for the chaste?
The task is just to write a damn poem.
Even that’s awash.
Molly Riggs is a literary fiction and poetry writer living in Harlem. Shortly after graduating with her degree in English from the University of Northern Colorado and moving to New York City, she published her debut novel, Blue Ink, through New Degree Press. She has also published works of poetry in the literary magazines, The Crucible and Rainy Day.