Self Portrait

Tuesday morning line of plastic bottles

Each three fourths empty, evenly wasted.

Thursday night living, $14 vodka

Sliding down my throat,

And uncovering my eyes, skin, and bones.

Two stale bed sheets

And eighty- four unturned pages later,

Where did the fifth hour go?

The girl glowing in metal holes sees me

Her cigarette twists its smoke

Into people that fleetingly exist.

Numb fingers

And shredded post-its in potted plants,

Everything stuck in decay.

Stumbled walk laughter, cool breeze,

Dizzy eyes, lighter for the first time all week—

Drifting into the clouded darkness.

Fridge door open, shut, open,

Washed grapes on the second shelf

Rotting leftovers on the third— I’m not hungry. Shut.

Bloody knuckled fight with a wall, ripped nail against translucent skin,

Wrecked bikes, ocean drifts, dying fish,

And mold growing in the fibers of my sweaters.

I lay on a stained carpet in the dusty sunlight, hollow—

An empty thing waiting to be any thing else.

Curled, then spread palms up on a closet floor,

Praying that the static will drain from my veins.


-Lu Terlikowski

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