The Worms by Elliot Hopwood

I can feel my interior Rot
I Swear I can feel the worms
Maybe one day they’ll fall out of my belly button
But for now they just turn up in my palms
And i just…
I just don’t know where to put them anymore.
I can’t tell if people are tired of stepping over them or if they don’t notice them
at all.
The birds notice.
They lurk around me and give me all the attention I don’t need
The birds aren’t even vultures
They’re songbirds.
Gore colored cardinals and flesh chasing chickadees
They sing in the morning with blood crusted and caked on their beaks
Coming in flocks and doing what they think is right for me
They know where to find the worms
So they peck and prod and puncture my skin
I pin these pricks on pimples but I cannot pretend
I desperately pluck their plumage
I pack fistfold of feathers and stuff them into my shirt,
And when they’ve been satisfied with their invertebrate/annelid genocide
They leave
I’m left with hot pink scabs and pastel puss
As my interior rots my mouth tastes like rust
And I begin to cough up something knotted in my throat
They’re in my mouth now,
The worms, that is.
So I haven’t been talking as much as I did
I can’t eat anymore but Daddy gets mad when he sees my bones
So with two cupped hands I gather up my own vomit and shovel it into my
dry throat
The acidic mess is thick
But it goes down lickety split because it’s easier the more quick it…moves

And once its down I pick out the residue with a toothpick made out of my
overgrown fingernails because I’m a sick fuck
I swallow and compose myself, smile ready
Hoping they see through me
They note earthworms and ringworms caught in my teeth
And they say wow, you must really like spaghetti
Well, fuck You and your silver lining
It may be working for you but for me it’s not
I said it before, so get it through your skull:
I can feel my interior rot.
I Swear I can feel the worms
They’re everywhere now
And I’m pretty sure my body is shutting down.
My palms are sweaty and my cheeks are pale
My vision is blurring out the details
Next to go will be my ears but I’m not hearing shit from you anyway
The ringing will do just fine
Body temperature is dropping like your interest
Sorry to press but have you noticed this mess
I try to protest but the acid reflux has produced a sour musk on my breath
My hands are on my diaphram
Because my breathing has gone manual
Autonomic functions have turned foul
So you better get towels before this bitch empties their bowels
But where will you be to clean up the mess
Ha, yeah right
Fuck my dignity!
They recoil away
And wish me a better day
They tell me to get up early this time
Because you know what they say
Early bird gets the worm
I just can’t tell…
if people are tired of stepping over them or if they don’t notice them at all.
You know, one day I’ll decompose
And be the earth beneath your feet

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