Contradicting Baby's Breath

by Max Bouillet

She pushed
on dead people's bellies
to force one last whisper
from their pale blue lips.

She would capture these secrets
inside little plastic bags
and swallow them.

It wasn't easy.
Sometimes she would gag
or choke.

When she realized
the irony of choking
on someone else's words,
she laughed
until she peed herself.

Stuffed with one-sided conversations,
she tempted angry men
to punch her in the stomach.

When they final succumbed,
their rage was met
with the voices
of a hundred desperate souls
seeking one last sin.


Posted on 07/14/2010
Copyright © 2022 Max Bouillet

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Paul Lastovica on 07/15/10 at 12:28 AM

the opening pushed me to the edge; and every bit after that nudged me closer and closer until then very end; which, of course suspended me in midair - legs spinning. "she" is quite the trickster, sometimes.

Posted by Morgan D Hafele on 07/15/10 at 01:32 AM

morbidly funny. i don't think i'd care to swallow the secrets of the dead, but i think i'd like even less to be around when they came out!

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 07/15/10 at 02:46 AM

I choke quite enough on my own words...hehe. I find this work morbid in a sardonic sort of way.

Posted by Tom Goss on 07/15/10 at 03:21 PM

I greatly enjoyed this Max. An expertly carved piece of delight.

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 07/15/10 at 08:40 PM

People die but the words fly away. Oscar Wilde uttered in finality: "...it's either the wallpaper or me, one of us has to go..." But, here you seem to go to some in between place, rather hellish, though the environs and what's happening intone Poe. Nice. Thanks.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 07/16/10 at 02:51 PM

After I stopped laughing out loud (really) at s4 I re-read this a couple of times and am glad I did. The genius of the last two stanzas finally sunk in. What a great way to describe the frustration of an overly one-sided conversation/relationship. As I read you poem I felt joy about being able to experience the many and wondrous ways people see things. It is humbling really. I think I know what I know and know what I see, and then I read the poets - like you and Greg and so many others on this site - and I start getting how relative our perceptions and understandings are. Thanks for again teaching me the rewards of reading poetry in general and really good poetry in particular.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 07/16/10 at 06:34 PM

Quite brilliant.

Posted by Tim D Livingston on 07/17/10 at 01:50 AM

That's awesome! I really like the part where she peed herself. :)

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 07/17/10 at 02:16 PM

Bizarre but well written and expressed story. I love how you close off in that last stanza, recalling how the poem starts.

Posted by Therese Elaine on 07/17/10 at 03:47 PM

Probing at old wounds with newly-grown nails, but she leaves the rust on the knife she uses to twist the punchline in, that little extra bit of sepsis to remind you what a poison pariah she really is...

Posted by Laura Doom on 07/18/10 at 12:36 AM

Pushers don't ingest in jest, I guess, though this transmission of transgression kicks personified ass...

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 07/18/10 at 06:13 PM

God, that one last sin. Marveling.

Posted by Patricia J Reed on 07/25/10 at 06:25 AM

I like! and I wonder who "she" is... nice read :)

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 07/30/10 at 12:56 PM

to reduce effect to mere words, is to remark that this is a remarkable ode in its every facet, proving yet again that art is malleable beyond a mere yanking but will be stretch as far as we are willing.

Posted by Ulyss Rubey on 09/03/10 at 10:38 PM

Yeah, I've crossed paths with that bitch a time or two. ;) Great! Onward Ever....

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 09/21/11 at 08:22 PM

Awesome x10.

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