E.G. Cunningham

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another round. Not the idiom I might think. My veins holding, my mother holding the ward, my brother tall & Aristotelian. In my head I call her mom. In my head I call out. Or what I mean by circuit is a ticket to a show I don’t remember. Another round. Numb localizes to the mother cell & circuitry can burn the house down; the neon-bleach room allows for certain partitions, like the seatbelt scream & the reverb, the catheter flush, the clear orange plastic. I understand what they’re dying for but I don’t have it. How to explain the keel to return. To seal my eyes with what my lips won’t spit. Pull me out of the ground or light the escape hatch

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a new school of self philanthropy is not alprazolam in fistfuls. Not patrol negotiations under anterograde amnesia in nightclothes. Not closet ethanol or the next week letters dimming over & over I’m sorry, & I’m sorry when I take Cobb to King to return to the second wing entrance, sorry in the gyre of the basement elevator & miming functionality to the medical records window. Question crossed out is the sixty sheets, thick in sealed manila, is the vital ten minute intervals in print: O2, SYS/DYS, CO2. The resp. rates, the pulse ox, the meal trays refused, & 168 is a cruel number. I’m sorry toward home on Hill, my own words in quotes like a drama by Mamet—& home was the spur that grew too large for my skin—quote: patient reports feeling “shifty.” & on the back porch I try to remember why I said that. Or if the difference between lunge & gall is acceptance. & I recant every statement forward & aft, but no matter: it was written for me

E.G. Cunningham

E.G. Cunningham grew up in Rome, Italy and Mount Dora, Florida. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Volta, Blackbox Manifold, em--a review of text and image, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is currently pursuing a PhD in English at the University of Georgia.