seething/soothing

yellow spit drips
from your lips
down into the basin
as you pause
between hacks and coughs
and deep vulgar retches.

you stink of vodka and fruit juice
and i’m worried sick,
dabbing your neck with a cold paper towel.
“my mother used to do this,” i say,
but you take it from me,
wring the water out in your fist,
and flush it down with your vomit.

i put my hand
on the small of your back,
but you slur “don’t,”
so i back away
and leave you shaking on the tile.

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