Carrie Conners


At 2 am she drives to the drug store again, arguing
  with herself. The doctor instructed her to chew gum
            when the cravings come on, eat a couple of Tums

            if it really gets bad. It’s never enough. She just ends up
   with a ribboned foil antacid wrapper and a late night debate
in Walgreens over what to purchase with chalk to make it

seem urgent enough to warrant a nighttime drive. Construction
   paper for an imaginary child’s last minute school project. Chloroseptic
            and Sucrets for laryngitis, the chalk for writing out messages on a lapboard.

           Sometimes, if the parking lot is empty, she’ll slip out the box top
   flap and choose a thin stick. She’ll roll it over her lips to heighten
the anticipation. On good nights a few licks and nibbles will do.

Nights like tonight when her muscles twitch, she bites off half
   a stick at a time and chews, grinds it into a thick paste that coats
            the walls of her cheeks. Sated until her saliva washes it away.

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