Sneaking Benyllin

study the bottle
count the dry red tears,
place two pennies (silently)
mark the curve of the perimeter
(line them up with landmarks on the label,
triangulate to fractions of a fraction of a breath) then
score a pair of tiny marks--opposite edges of the
paper--trace a level plane, extrapolate
the bottom of the dim meniscus
(minimize uncertainties, second-guess the parallax)
use your fingernail
(noone will see it)
near the edge
(noone will suspect you)
then, just like a funfair game
lift the sticky bottle from the crowded shelf
but don't
a thing un-twist the cap (place it upside
down to leave no telltale ring) then
sip then
(my lips are going
numb my tongue is
numb that
aromatic flash in the
back of my throat
my throat going numb) then
sip then
open the kitchen tap until
drops are metered
the tiny mouth, just
replace to fractions of a
fraction of an inch re-
move the pennies wait--
still time to gamble.

JDP 97/08

Copyright John D Porter © 1997

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