Listerine Bones

Study of Myself, Bella Pozo

Every time you kissed me you left bacteria in between the crevices of my teeth
But it’s funny how whenever I got sick we both seemed to blame the weather 

Instead of the virus attached to your tongue
I had to stop going outside because my mother became sick of buying tissues in the middle of the summer heat
And I grew tired of forcing scabs down my throat
When you stopped taking my calls the congestion from my nose built a home within the walls of my chest 

I don’t know how to get rid of this kind of cold 

The kind that gives me migraines so bad that the only thoughts I can focus on are the ones that begin with your scalp and end with the bones that make up your thighs
But I’m so tired of sneezing blood into my palms
And scratching my neck to ease the soreness in my throat

I use mouthwash to try to wash out your germs and correct the inflammation that threatens to silence me 

You have always been a threat that silences me

I gargle a paste made up of sea salt and Listerine to get rid of the phlegm that coats the barrier of my lungs 

As I spit the blue out of my system I pray that I spit you out too

About the Author

Rebecca Jacque · Guilford College

Rebecca Jacque is Sociology and Anthropology major at Guilford College with a minor in Community and Justice Policies. “Listerine Bones” first appeared in Greenleaf Review.

About the Artist

Bella Pozo · University of South Florida

Bella Pozo is a senior at the University of South Florida graduating with her BFA in studio art and a concentration in sculpture. She has been exhibited in Florida and New York. “Study of Myself” first appeared in Furrow.

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