acute failure and its attempted lesson

on the drip, human voices    tire.
elastic band      fingers, accidental,
fail to respond. the blanket stays
amiss. the half covered body shivers,
shivers. always a choice      to melt
in the white of strip lights—it could
be final—or: resist    resist. clenched
fist against the metal bar. the drip, drip,
drip says      you just might.      or not
replies another wave of dark.      fear
of death      is something else than
the bunch or words we use, we used,
to contain it. the stain on the wall is
too real to reckon, too real to reckon—
lost     handfuls of seconds. a clipboard
attempts a conversation with whoever
came in with this.      the failing brain
attempts a decision: if meat makes it

through the sharp     whitened coral
reef, i will never forget      how much
another person’s      handhold is needed.

LORELEI BACHT's recent work has appeared and/or is forthcoming in Mercurius, Anti-Heroin Chic, Menacing Hedge, Beir Bua, Sinking City, Barrelhouse, SWWIM, The Inflectionist Review, After the Pause, and elsewhere. She is also on Instagram: @lorelei.bacht.writer and on Twitter: @bachtlorelei