I’ve Seen You Be Vertical (a Reminder) By A.C. Dobell

I’ve Seen You Be Vertical (a Reminder)
For my sister

You are throwing up
but what if it was just alcohol
and you are just hungover?

I could rub your back
and promise you’ll feel better
once you get it all out

Trust me
you will feel better

What if instead of lying backside
your back was just to me?

I could watch as you hunch over the toilet
to grab its rim for a crutch
and stack your bones up on top of the other

First your winged shoulders
stack on a lifting spine
which stacks on legs
Don’t you remember how?

as you arise to walk out of here
by yourself

so strong simply by virtue
of being vertical

I’ve seen you be vertical

What if instead of limp silence
you could speak?

Once standing
you could wipe your mouth
to crack the usual hangover joke

about how you’ll never let it get that bad again
I could look you in the eyes and nod

You’ll never get that bad again

By A.C. Dobell


A.C. Dobell is a Filipina-American poet and visual artist living in Pittsburgh, PA. Her combination poetry and photography e-zine is published on Mercado Vicente. She is the co-director of Mused, an event that brings together artists of different mediums to inspire each other and connect over the creative process. She has work forthcoming in Eunoia Review. She works mainly in activism covering a broad range of environmental and social justice issues. She is related to the English poet, Sydney Thompson Dobell, a member of the Spasmodic school and friend of both Tennyson and Browning.

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