Let Me Leave Before the Medication Wears Off

by Gregory Sherl

Gregory Sherl

I am this dream: a boy in a field of medicine
cabinets with teeth in his belly, teeth in his mouth,
teeth in his fingernails he bites off as he watches
you tell him a story about forgetting where you left
your keys. There’s a laugh track in the dream, a universal
remote that makes the ceiling fan spin. The spinning
ceiling fan is a high-pitched whine only a dog
can hear. Soon, we will be married & the dog will hear
the whine, will only care a little. In the dream, by
the time you think about leaving, it is so late the roads
are closed for the night. Your fake fit is a quintessential
sneeze. You left your keys on the windowsill.
You stay anyway.

When the zombies come, I’ll paint regret
on my forehead. See the squiggly line right
there? I’ll say. That’s just how she tasted.

Mostly the morning is ugly & my lips something I’ve fallen on.
I vote everyone plays checkers when they weep like raccoons in daylight.

Here I am slowly growing older. The Liberty Bell
didn’t have a crack in it, I got drunk & beat it up.
My hand broke into 92 pieces. Super glue fixes
God’s mistakes, holds cities of popsicles together.
The bathtub is the Atlantic Ocean for my toenails.
Someone said I have a dream, & now there are statues.
I want to get more political but I didn’t vote, I was
too worried about how many pills I could fit
in my mouth without swallowing. My favorite thought
of the day is wondering how long it will take for me
to thaw out inside your waist.

If a zombie fell in the middle of a forest and no one was around,
would you still kiss my neck every night before bed?

If my pills were sugar pills, my teeth would be brittle
& my mouth dry. This year I’ll turn you on with my tips
of soft cotton. We forget nothing about how the clouds spell
fidelity in the form of petroleum jelly, a slow tug. Just think:
if my pills were sugar pills, I’d still be sleeping.
Today I cry the clouds back on, grow weeds in thickets
of weeds, swallow other pills, spell today yet dark, spell today
less comely. Yesterday I built forests in my mouth, got bit by snakes,
built rainforests without rain. Forget fires, just let the vines wrap.

From my beaten up hands: If it weren’t for my OCD,
I would’ve fucked at least six more women. That number
is low, situationally incorrect. If it weren’t for my OCD,
I would probably itch below the waist. My hands never go out
to eat with me. I order anything with a bun, so I don’t
have to use the silverware at the restaurant.

The fourth Rocky isn’t about beating Communism,
it’s about machine vs. tree trunk. Or maybe it’s about
holding hands with someone as equally pretty as you.

Tonight the trees are sick of being trees. After turning
their backs on photosynthesis, their roots have begun
pumping blood. I feel sad for their discounted hearts,
their future bad fucks, the children they’ll only want
some of the time. Tell me not to forget mornings I woke
up in your hair, woke up on a hill on a mountaintop
30 degrees south of your ribs.

It’s so dry & odious in the thickets of vines on mangroves
in the rainforest I built with no rain. Forget waking up to my face
against the wall. The sound of today: a split coconut, a fire alarm
ringing backwards, but you can’t tell the difference. The morning
news is back on this evening. The world got younger this year.
I can barely remember my year in reverse, so I sleep in your bed
to dream your dreams about your year in reverse. Who knew
I wasn’t ready to climb out of your thighs so soon?

Last updated October 17, 2022