Melanie Tague

Khasmas
by Melanie Tague

I am sure the cavity of my chest
is vast—a rabbit hole. I never learned

how to swim after falling through
the life preserver. It was evening,

looking upward there was sun, or was it
the same light at the end

of the invisible puzzle you said was
of a train track tunnel. You placed pieces in the air

above you, as the lymph nodes waged
a blood war. They were chieftains chanting,

“pain is the only evil” “evil is the only
pain” “pain is the only way” “bow to

us, bow to us.” I don’t have
nine lives, maybe I have ten. I survived

the water, a weakening heart, numb limbs,
the blackouts, and puking red. Why

didn’t I come back the same? You touched
me in my dream. I woke up expecting

a dog lick, there was an empty fifth and
an aftertaste of chlorine in my mouth and acid

burning in my throat. It’s not
that I ever needed.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 2.

Melanie TagueMelanie Tague is a graduate of the University of Missouri—Columbia where she received her BA in History and Sociology. Currently, she lives in Columbia, MO and serves as a contributing editor for River Styx as well as a reviewer for Newpages. In the fall of 2014 she will be attending graduate school to obtain her MFA in Creative Writing.

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