There is No Wine in this Poem by Susan Cossette

There is No Wine in this Poem

Just a rumpled periwinkle quilt,
two cats, ice water, and opioids.

There is no wine in this room.
I fold into red pain,
the scar on my throat raw,
stuck together with adhesive tape.

I have seen the mountain,
tribes of electronic monitors and surgical equipment,
given enough fentanyl to put down an elephant,
and equal amounts of Narcan to awaken the dead.

            Breathe Susan, let me hear you breathe.
            That’s a good girl, breathe and you will get some ice.

The nurse scooped tiny chips
into my mouth like a mother bird.
I swam to the sterile porcelain surface,
racing home to fluorescent light.


Susan Cossette lives and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Author of Peggy Sue Messed Up, she is a recipient of the University of Connecticut’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust + Moth, Vita Brevis, ONE ART, As it Ought to Be, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Amethyst Review, Crow & Cross Keys, Loch Raven Review, and in the anthologies Tuesdays at Curley’s and After the Equinox.

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