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Claire Scott


Gummies, Ambien, Melatonin, Lunesta
no alcohol whatsoever (Nyquil is cheating)
eating sea slug entrails, lathering my hair
in a mixture of mustard and mayonnaise
rubbing the ear wax of a dog on my left foot
reading Moby-Dick aloud, especially the part
about the skull shapes of sperm whales
I‘ve tried them all
and here I am at 3 am wide awake
worried about being too exhausted tomorrow
forgetting my lecture on the importance of fleaworts
my mouth flapping nonsense
maybe the Alka-Seltzer jingle
plop plop fizz fizz
or sometimes you feel like a nut
brought to you by Almond Joy

Looking like a fool
being fired of course
living on the streets
eating slobbered-on burgers from dumpsters
fighting sea gulls for soggy fries
sharing cigarette butts with Hazel
who insists she is a saint, babbling prayers
in Hebrew or Aramaic or ancient Greek
the space between me and my former life
growing wider like a train pulling out of a station
I wave goodbye, flapping a virtual handkerchief
to the corporate life with its onerous hours,
hideous high heels and budget-blowing suits
I settle down under my cardboard roof
next to Hazel who is snoring and dreaming
of performing miracles like water to wine
or multiplying sour dough loaves and Bluefin tuna
or raising her long dead grandmother
who is tucked into the box beside her
not the easiest environment for sure
but I sleep soundly



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