Four Vomits

by Omar Majeed

I peel open the door and everything becomes real.

My heavy footsteps embarrass me,

Though only the grass notices.

I sit upright on a damp log bench

And feel the wind running through me,

Humming and uncoiling and draining away

With the waves of traffic and treelimbs

Filtering together. Every sound gone

Before it reaches me. The blue night

Holding every orange-haloed streetlight.

 

Feeling slightly seasick I

Drop my head between my knees,

My stomach turning forwards over itself

Bubbling in my throat but still nothing comes.

I sit up refreshed and stand slowly turning,

Pulled in every direction, so aware

Of the bristled conifer playground smells

And the weight of my own skull,

I look at the grass glistening dully

And feel like tasting it, tasting the soil underneath,

Though it’s probably not a good idea.

 

The holly bush draws me sharply over –

How sharp it feels on my palms I think,

I lean my whole body into it, the tiny spikes

All over my arms and chest, and feel not it

But those little points of myself.

I step away happy and guilty, thinking

Of the people behind curtained windows

All laughing along with the canned laughter,

All weeping along to synthesized violin music.

 

The shadows grow denser and wider –

They seem to bulge out between branches

And the rocks in the wall, infinite empty volumes

That would swallow you up without a trace.

I close the door behind me quietly.

 

Inside again the hum of boilers

The ticking of clocks

Lightbulbs burn my eyes,

The overdue sickness welling up

As I climb the stairs to the

Dark landing and step step step

Across the bathroom pulling

On the light automatically, lean over

The sink and feel the oily acid combining inside

 

And scratching over my teeth then I am

Turning the tap and the water flows through by magic

Washing it all down the drain, and

I swill the lukewarm water in my mouth

And feel it rattling against the cheek walls,

Before letting it fall over my bottom lip and into the sink.

The taste is still in my mouth and I am sick three more times

and I still don’t know if that’s the last of it,

but I’m bored of it anyway, and lie face down on the bed

with my eyes sweating into the pillow and the curtains rattling.