shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Jimmy Pappas

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The Last Thing I Will Ever Need

A final embrace where the red ink of debt can turn black,
where the ledger book can be closed, the assets and liabilities
finally balanced off, the right-hand and left-hand sides equal.

Blame can travel like the high-speed photography of a nighttime
highway: white one way, red the other. Purity and blood. Ermine
and rubies. Iron-rich corpuscles, leukocytes attacking infections.

Possibilities are tiny creatures gnawing at my arms, leaving only
puncture wounds. Loss sits there like a masked torturer with
a leather cat o' nine tails in his hand ready to flay my skin.

Let me spread the remaining seeds of the endangered species of love
in its own ecological niche, a habitat built on acidic soil, so that it can
adapt and bloom once again until the invading intruder overcomes it.

I stand at the edge of a stagnant fen where a broken baby carriage rusts
near the shore. A creature whose left arm I have torn off has swum
to an underwater grotto where it waits looking up for a random leg to grab.