City of Love #2 by Kyle Hemmings

In a locked ward, an old nurse with grainy voice,
feeds her warm oatmeal cookies,
weans her from IV liquid dreams.
In her hazy malaise, she thinks her breath is fetid,
the inside of a dead woman. She tells the psychiatrist
with Chevron mustache and stripe taupe tie
that five Chinese stock brokers will commit suicide
by choking on junk bonds. She’s misdiagnosed and
returned to her apartment on 10th street
with a generic brand of Yellow Forgetfulness,
300 mg. B.I.D. At the new club in Noho,
a man in leather need speaks in over-inflated balloons.
Later, he pins her against the mattress. She pops and
becomes another liquid dream. After he leaves,
taking his hollow needles with him, she discovers
her bloodstones and white sapphires are gone.
Her spine is missing too. The cell phone sings an
old Depeche Mode. A man in garbled voice keeps
saying something about the safest investment is in herself.
She shuts him off. On the long and crowded city blocks,
she thinks about the man last night, about shrinking him
to a plug in her throat, about swallowing hard.
About glittering inside.


Kyle Hemmings is the author of several chapbooks of poems: Avenue C, Cat People, and Anime Junkie (Scars Publications). His latest ebook is You Never Die in Wholes from Good Story Press. His favorite band of all time is Love and he is a big fan of Roky Erickson. He lives and writes in New Jersey.