March 2005 / Volume VI / Issue II
Jane Adam
Hangover Breakfast

Love says to me:
do not be ashamed of wounds caused by love
now there’s a wound inside my head
feels like athena is jabbing at it with her spear
i think i’m ashamed of it
though i know it’s actually caused by
dehydration
which makes the brain shrink, they say
but picture the bloodshot walls
of the father’s grey matter
collapsing over athena
she’s only trying to get out
as anyone would who had a spear

i would love to make some eggs over easy
grits with velveeta
and lots of hot sauce
if vigorous movement like
whisking the grits into boiling water
or getting out of bed
wouldn’t make me want to puke
i’ll chug some v-8 juice
that puts me right

what put you right? what did you eat?
i don’t remember
hard to imagine being
hung over in a suit
holding on to your tie to keep it out of the toilet
aggressively sober children
at your table yammering
about lunchboxes chocolate milk permission slip book report
roger ramjet adam ant
you were sober too of course
that was just the trouble
feeling your wounds– 
your dehydration
one morning i said to you–
well, i don’t remember what i said–
whatever it was, maybe you just couldn’t stand
the spearjabs of an 8-year-old’s words
maybe her crying
however loud & lavish
hurt you less

so then i was on the floor in a puddle
of carnation instant breakfast &
broken glass
bleeding through the nose
over my brownie uniform
and then i had to go to school anyway
can you imagine that?
your father wouldn’t have made you go
if you were bleeding
love says to me:
go back to bed now
wake up later with a splendid appetite
sit down to my table
bring your spear
eat what you want
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