The Flow
Elysia Smith

I can smoke myself into ash. I can down bottles of wine and stack them against my walls. I can wear the labels all over my body like a suit and go to the Piggly Wiggly. I can buy okra at the market with the crumpled two dollar bill in my bra. I can sleep with men. I can sleep with women. I can sleep alone. I don't have to eat breakfast. I can sit in my underwear at the kitchen table looking at my feet. And when I see that orb shine-shiver into evening I can stand. Or not. In those tight hours, dull shades creeping through ale drenched alleys, I can slink from bar to bar, meeting friends along. They are slinking too. Together we can spend evenings dancing blues to spinning, scratched records. Or, we can just wonder. If we sear our brains with numbers and ideas, then we can make waffles and talk about ice dancers.
Some time, some where we will develop amnesia. Our invincible bodies and inconceivable appetites will fade.
I feel that time like a hand raking across my skin. Nails ripping my soul from my intestines and heart and liver and gullet. It is my tongue swelling beyond my teeth. My hair thinning from straw to silk. Age spotting my face. The windows will be cracking. The wall paper flaking in faded fragments.
Living will be redundant as a fairy tale. Useless as a broken bulb. Hollow shells and empty compacts and wadded up napkins full of shame. They will put me in a home. Someplace clean with fresh bread air and no trace of urine lingering. I'd take the urine. At least it will mean something is shedding and changing and being.
Disdain and remorse will never color my face purple. I won't choke down the horse pill.
Readiness and willing and hard work hands to see the challenge of father time and match it.