ON HOLD: by Elizabeth Morton

ON HOLD:
by Elizabeth Morton


I can hold
my breath
for three minutes flat
in the superstore aisle
between woks
and waffle-irons
screaming catchphrases
in my head or
buying pillows
at the counter
like it’s underwater
wrong chemicals
curdling
in my lungs and
the jukebox
playing songs
that make me drowsy
like Radiohead
on ukulele
over the
loudspeaker
the manager keeps
banging on
about
battery eggs
on special
and I’m like
can’t you see
bitch
I’m trying to
kill myself
in aisle five
but I’m too
dizzy
to even grab
a lemon squeezer
from the middle shelf


Elizabeth Morton is a New Zealand writer. She has been published in Poetry NZ, PRISM international, Cordite, JAAM, Shot Glass Journal, Takahe Magazine, Landfall, Atlas, Flash Frontier, Gravel, SmokeLong Quarterly, the Sunday Star Times, Literary Orphans, and in Island Magazine, among others. Her prose is in The Best Small Fictions 2016. Her debut poetry collection is to be published with Mākaro Press this year. In her free time she pens bad rap songs, and collects obscure words in supermarket bags. 

Hear Elizabeth’s poem and more virtual poetry from Cleaver on our SoundCloud podcast On The Edge.

Image credit: Phoebe Dill on Unsplash

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