Domestic Panic

by Michael Schmeltzer

Bored, bipedal & drug addled
is how I spend my days

off-kilter. Kilometer by kilometer
I march politely away

from being the spouse who could sew
another meal into memory.

Be honest, no one should celebrate
the body’s ordinary accomplishments;

dying at an old age, or even birth
seems worth

barely a clap. Everyone I know
orders the same plate

of baby-blush salmon, adores
the slice of lemon like it’s the sour eye

of sunshine, but give me the mud
of blood sausage any day. Darling,

I’m done for. When I confess
I’m hanging by a thread

I mean the most delicate line of chitchat
kills me. Don’t ask

another quiche of a question.
If you do I’ll be forced to respond

truthfully, and in self-defense.
I’ll send every word curled

like a scorpion tail, poison poised
like a cordial, your ear open

like a nursing mouth.

Michael Schmeltzer is the author of the forthcoming Empire of Surrender. He co-authored the nonfiction book A Single Throat Opens, a lyric exploration of addiction. His debut Blood Song was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award for Poetry.