Ode on Hannibal Lecter that Ends with a Reason to Live
I heard once that fear gives meat
a bitter taste, acid bath in bone. How,
then, do these numb and clumsy
ligaments deliquesce on the tongue,
if not to make a meal in the ash of it.
It started on a plane. No. It started
with a gauzy heartbeat somewhere
over the shoulder, with untumbling
in sleep. It started with sleep fanned
outward like the tracks of a skeletal
train, the kind that dot the horizon
on a long country drive, gone to rust,
gone to stillness. And the sleep, stretched
to stillness, stretched to floral stitch of quilt
made a cave, that we may trick mid-afternoon
night into thinking there was any choice
but to fall. This naked dust—not vulnerable,
but folded and nude—this hucklebuckling
toward disrepair. What a waste it must be,
to discard a body so pickled with despair.
When I die, swath my body in garlic bulbs.
Wrap me in lotus leaf & set me to roasting
in clay. Let the fat of me mask the electric tang
of paroxetine, and we will know a thing like peace.
By Jacqueline Boucher
Jacqueline Boucher lives and writes in Northern Michigan. Her work was a finalist for the 2016 Write Bloody manuscript contest, and has appeared in BOOTH, SmokeLong Quarterly, Hobart, and other magazines. She can be found on Twitter @jacqueboucher.