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Do Not Exceed in 24 Hours

by Lisa Marie Brodsky

At first just the four aspirin
heeding the warning
of doctors not hovering over me.
I was my own little girl.
Four white yogurt drops, four baby eyes.
Nothing could dissuade me.

Next more daring:
with mirrors around
eight this time
wondering what delirium
felt like
It felt like thinking too hard –
that’s how I knew
it hadn’t worked.

Then at desperation’s edge
The eyelash, the fingernail: all endings.
Eighteen and this time a mixed bag.
I had a lot to say.
I swallowed each baby, each hand and foot
as I sobbed into the plastic cup.
I drank NyQuil to liven things up.

At the hospital I expelled everything
but I still held the seeds
each baby coo.
I was a mother to my addiction
I would cradle, I would ooh.


Posted on 11/25/2004
Copyright © 2022 Lisa Marie Brodsky

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