The Total Eclipse of a Life Too Toxic to Look Directly Into
What had happened to that crashing wave that rose up to penetrate
the sand my feet felt to be true, slippery the way my eyes discarded you.
My feet dangled from between metal stirrups as I stuttered through my galaxy of anxiety, never planned to sing hymns to the prescription you wrote for me.
What if something happened to you? I clutched the paper
you gave me that promised three months of a world
that whispered you were breathing.
What if you decided to move to Nebraska
or raked yourself over with Oxycodone, Oxycontin, morphine,
had to go to rehab or Disneyland?
Maybe my life was in the hands of someone who mutilated more than me.
I never noticed your eyes. You were drunk on words that straddled poles around each form that paid homage to your pen.
I folded your prescription into a tiny square that fit itself into a sunless place in my wallet. It was my vacation itinerary.
What if I took each pill, a prayer on my tongue
and nothing changed?
A slot machine of side effects
Today, headache, nausea, shortness of breath
Tomorrow, cramping, weight gain, libido sucked dry
and every atom continued to become denser than the one
What if my life was a placebo?
mom on her knees
scrubbing the bottom of the refrigerator
with a toothbrush
while dad picked up
that looked like sister
and did them
in hotel rooms
adjacent to mine
nightmare of foul toilets overflowing
because I couldn’t take a shit
without terror of someone
a voice that abandoned me
when I bled in his car
and smelled of decay
I never knew
or the richest of blurs
my mouth, my lips,
into one holiday of a spectacle
that kept me
full of booze, coke, angel dust,
full of myself
Meg Tuite’s writing has appeared in numerous journals including Berkeley Fiction Review, MadHatter’s Review, Epiphany, JMWW, One, the Journal, Monkeybicycle and Boston Literary Magazine. She has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize. She is fiction editor of Santa Fe Literary Review and Connotation Press, author of Domestic Apparition (2011) San Francisco Bay Press, Disparate Pathos (2012) Monkey Puzzle Press, Reverberations (2012) Deadly Chaps Press, Implosion and other stories (2013) Sententia Books and has edited & co-authored The Exquisite
Quartet Anthology-2011 and 2012 from her monthly column, Exquisite Quartet published in Used Furniture Review. Her blog: http://megtuite.wordpress.com.