Lois Roma Deeley

Sugar Baby Kicking

Like this. No one said it would be like this.
Yawning tears, and diarrhea—my skin is
itchy and my stomach hurts—I would like
to leave—please—let me go—when, tell me when
will the pain stop? It’s really too much and—
I need something. Get me something—right now.

There’s yellow paint peeling off the walls. Now
that bitch across the hall is screaming: this
demon-witch wants to eat my heart out
then she looks at me … a terror; come on … is
there anyone who can help me?—Tell me when
can I go home? When at times it gets just like this

my leg and hand they throb, go cold, it’s like
the rat’s teeth chewing straight through to bone—now
you know I’m not a junkie? It’s just when
my man doesn’t come home and he has this
far away voice on the phone and he is
telling me he just got lonely—that—and

when the bills just can’t get paid—the rent and
the loan payment are late, it just seems like
we should quit trying. Don’t tell me what is
not possible. And what should I do now?
After the sweating, after the puke, this
is the moment of maybe, not should, when

you say: perhaps it’s time to go—Oh! when
can I go? What do you know? The world and
its hungry belly never get full. This is
how I live—I make the soul numb—like
a scorpion’s sting, the stunning now
shuts down and I am Queen of all that is

in front of me. Not the nothing that is
spinning around me, whispering how this
or that—person or place or thing—is now
a thumb on my neck, whip at my back and
even the hole in the hospital wall is like
a grave I should just fall into. All this—
—you think I like being like this? And is
there a sign for when it will end? Like if
my heart could stop the desire of now this.