after "Steerage" by Victoria Redel:
I sit hunched over. My pain sits too.
We ease up and cramp again.
The tomatoes I ate are why my belly’s upset.
We face off. We’re swollen and burping and green.
Appetite, agony, sweet taste an imp that dooms me,
my gut, that roiling ocean, a blooded bowl trapped inside me.
We huff and howl our paeans to greed.
My pain engulfs me. Every damn time I do this.
Please, Pain. Can we heave?
We stumble away to try.