Lotus Eater


Children sometimes mistake yellow jasmine for honeysuckle,

bring petals to lips expecting nectar, drink instead a wasp-regret, mouthful

of cigarette ash dashed against the stone bench outside the emergency room.

You once mistook candy floss for sustenance, then

your teeth fell from your mouth, forsaken meteors of bone.

You once mistook meth for moon dust, then

spent the night in the toilet of a gay club stripping

out of your skin.

Slow burn the sugar-spun manic at the stake.

Call black magic anything that feels like joy,

then becomes blood sacrifice.

Bite into the apple, spit out a razed orchard.

You let another pill dissolve under your tongue, surprised at its bitter &

electric. You almost expected something sweet, almost