skirmish with the dead
3AM coffee finally uproots the ghosts / the hot bed wakes you / the sweats stick, skin damp, prickling / blert blert blert of the fan trying to blow the dead away, dry their wet caresses in the pre-morning dark / can’t sleep of course but what else can you use against the incessant raids of the incorporeal
your own heart beats against your ribs / mean in spirit as well as mingy / that kind of friend, one that gets pulled away on the tide of night / leaves you stranded in unfriendly spaces / your liver is another of that sort / a lone warrior against the poison you gulp in the frenzy to forget the truancy of your heart, it fails / when it finds the gateway to the sea, your blood will also flee / gemini mind of your kidneys will hive off too / and you / your body, third wheel undergoing schoolyard humiliations / your body, the one left at the line as your organs flee the battle / in the playground of societal health, having enough / having a life / a fool’s dream / what kind of living can there be when you are your own angry ghost
Pearl Button lives in the Salishan Territories of western North America. She is published or forthcoming in a variety of journals including The Literary Cauldron, Posit, SurVision Magazine, Skink Beat Review, Impspired, fillingStation and Peculiar Mormyrid.
A Song for Pearl