Poison Control and the Old Neighborhood – Nicelle Davis
July 25, 2010 § Leave a comment
The woman from poison control asks, Do you have the actual
product with you? I saw the bottle on the counter—saw my son
in a thin lake on the bathroom floor. I need your help I tell her,
my voice breaking, I don’t deserve him—
- When Mary Lou from the old neighborhood
- lost her son, she drank a bottle of bleach right
- off the shelf of Mr. Garrison’s store. She bolted
- to the street—a steady stream of red pouring
- form her, as though the child had the ribbon
- of her interior and was running wild with it.
It wasn’t Clorox. It was window cleaner—generic
I manage to tell the woman. Not to worry, she says, often
such things are mild. Watch your son
- for an hour. I remember as a kid visiting Mary Lou—
- her parrot mouth, tongue burned to a cylinder,
- toothless. She laughed at my staring, told me,
- Girl, I wear on the outside what love will someday
- do to your insides.
I hold my son close and repeat into the receiver Thank You
Thank You like a blue Macaw who’s only been taught how
to give thanks.