cough drop

By Catie Wiley

i hold fear under my tongue like a lozenge.
that sharp cherry taste lingers, tingles
all menthol and memory.

it sweats. coating my throat
and coloring my pharynx 
with permanent marker.

every inhale reminds me,
every exhale reminds me,
of something
i don’t want to remember.

Catie Wiley is a lesbian writer from Maryland. She’s a contributing editor for Story Magazine and a poetry reader for the winnow magazine. Her work appears in Stone of Madness Press, Wrongdoing Magazine, and warning lines magazine, among others. Find her on Twitter or at

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