by P.H. Higgins
A Blood Song
With swallow and breath
excess is grown in our alembic stomachs:
The pocket lint of the empty soul. We are filled
with dust, strings, and laughter.
With drink I thank my laughter
which stretches my mouth beyond my ears
and splits me into teeth.
Eardrums pound with the sound of blood vessels, full vessels
that carry carnelian away on journeys towards heartlands.
That carve, ever onward, their place in the whole of the body.
That, rupturing, show themselves in their fullness, painting
eyes red and skin blue. Vessels of bruises, of heat borne in genitals.
Odysseus did not travel so much as the blood of any one body.
Elsewhere I am swallowing the night
in gulps. It balls up in my throat and foams
with its starlight and stormclouds. It churns
itself in me, I am shaped by it.
A hollow passenger, I drift away.
While Others Sleep
In the nighttime, beneath the fluorescence,
I wear rubber gloves that fill with sweat, and pour
some kind of blue that burns to the touch
into the drains. Twenty maws to be fed nightly.
Every step and every grip are wet.
I drip and trail. Beneath my armpits,
or through the holes in my shoes,
I flow so uncomfortably.
Perhaps bottles and reservoirs feel no relief
when they spill over. Do they wince
somehow, embarrassed to overflow?
Does glass lie restless for dreams of leaking?
When I fall over and spill, do I burn
to touch? Do I soothe? Do I reflect
in sunlight and fluorescence? Do I
stain, or congeal, or go down stairwells?
Or do I pool and shimmer quietly
beneath hallway lights, until stepped upon?
Perhaps I shall be dragged away into footprints
that grow fainter, until I am soaked up by rags.
P.H. Higgins received a BA in Media Studies from Vassar College and currently resides in Boise, Idaho. His two collections of poetry and artwork Fleshpot & Honeysuckle (2016) and All the Mediocre Tidbits of Life (2017) were self-published through Lulu books. His other creative pursuits include playing guitar and banjo as well as sketching with pen on paper. More of his writing can be found on his website https://penandscreen.blog/.