Basket of fruit
rots on her side of the room
pining for flies
wicked motion
sideways drip
shadow engulfing the floor

Decay is a dominant gene

I am terrified of sweet things
left to their own devices
friendships on the porch in July
boiling for a moment
sour curdle crushing love’s toes
girls brought to the brink
voices swelling
hands distorting
twisting back into themselves

When things fester
my teeth ache louder than any desire

The basket glares at me
while I stand in the shower
salt fiend
teeth bared
I pretend not to see the flies
burrowing into my scalp
pinprick toothbrush
between handfuls of shampoo

Lock me in the basement
I don’t care if I pickle
tonight, I am guzzling brine
not ready for the birth
that death implies

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