“drink from the skull cup”

two cups of black coffee at dusk
straight down, to cramp my guts
to line my eye sockets with static
to pull my face tight like a mask

no sleeping tonight wretched sleep
is for the weak, I run
on all cylinders all hours
and start one thought before I finish another

two cups of black coffee, and internet chat
message boards, blog posts, reviews,
cover my desktop with tiny windows
cover my face with LCD light

cover my face with my hands
plug my ears and hum open-mouthed
eyes open to darkness
light running in through my fingers

I want my face to pull so tight
it splits in the middle like a blister-pack pill
a line from my widow’s peak to my chin
the flesh sliding open like stage curtains

I want my heart to beat faster
and faster, until one pulse starts
before the other can end
until my heart clenches like a bloody fist in my chest

my fingers touch the keys and my nerves fire
electric signals to my brain
that tell me what I feel I
generate electricity with every touch

kill me lord kill me please kill
divide my body at the speed of light
divorce electrons from neutrons from protons
pull me every which way at once

drink prayer from the cup of my skull
brains brimming, addled and charged
with caffeine with the world with despair
with everything together at once

by Marcos Soriano

Return to Issue 45