FLUSHING – poetry compt. entry 2016
Yesterday, I flushed my mood
down the toilet and watched as ugly stains
diffused across ceramic.
They were slightly viscose and definitely not
what I’d wish to show my in-laws, or future boss,
or even myself.
I make a habit of this bathroom drama.
Every so often,
when the bile catches in my throat,
or my pleasant demeanor
becomes faintly pinched ;
or I hear my phone beep emails I am dreading,
or texts from dreary friends with little to do in their lives
but pester people doing less, I feel it:
feel my mood going slightly sour.
Just a faint whiff, mind you,
but that becomes compounded with a depressed compressor.
(Apparently something to do with a car,
but I know nothing about such things,
only that they cost more than my budget allows
and take a depressingly long time to fix
and I’m stuck with stick-shift gears that no one
who is not a hundred and two can possibly manage.)
Yes, I feel it,
that transient change
from gritty to grimy,
chirpy to cheerless.
I feel it first as a grey aura,
but I’m told grey is the new black, and if that is so,
its probably more of an unseemly pea green.
It’s nothing that anyone who is sensible can find convivial,
or even on the outer fringes of fashionable.
It becomes opaque,
thick enough to choke if I did not shake myself and tell myself sternly
that it is time for the toilet.
I’ve been flushing my moods for rather a long time, now.
It started with second hand cigarette fumes in my mother’s car.
I still see it, the remnants of forty cigs a day,
smashed and smoking in a tray of ash the size of a tiny fist. I
don’t think it was ever emptied, but it must have been,
because the next day another forty materialized,
to be battered deliberately into the grill,
just the stumps and the ash and hopeful embers.
of lucky-last smoke and tears in my eyes and my lungs.
My ears fare no better. Alternate orifices
for the smoke and the sourness,
latching on to the endless jingles
of the hissing radio,
stuck somewhere between two stations,
each more insanely boring
and intensely invasive than the next.
The adverts, so asinine,
used to slither into the cornerstones of my consciousness
and play games
up there, repeating themselves endlessly.
I am just a vacant vehicle.
until I get into the habit of firmly flushing
down the rose marble toilet.
Not nice, but nothing deposited there is nice,
so surely it serves as a respectable
receptacle for my thoughts?
I hate watching the last edges of slime on paper,
but when it’s gone,
the bowl is clean
and my mood is once more fresh.
© Hayley Solomon