the salt factory

This is where I go when I run out of salt.

The room has an aftertaste
alternating between acrylic and acrid.
At the very heart is an onion, pulsing and revolting,
half-shedding its layers, each revealing history.
The first wave feels like gargling shards of glass and rocks,
displaces my adam’s apple, I am careful not to choke on it.
By the time I reach the center, my cheeks are marinated with recycled scents and tears.

The room is snow, caked upon light,
a slow burn seeps into my lungs like snow melt like damp mud.
It clouds my vision when dust gets caught between lashes.
I rely on a litany of unanswered prayers slipping through clenched fists to make my way out.
Lungs heaving, punctuated with sneezes.
The leftover tears will dissolve like seafoam left behind
when bumper boats depart from ports.
I too, am dissolving

The room is a vein threatening to spill,
people take turns to shove gravel down one another’s throats and walls reverberate with curses from foreign tongues.
I swallow the husk but they claw it from my chest.
I swallow the husk but talons are attached to my wrists now.
Shadows are dancing skins condemned to the dirt,
Shadows are cackling around our bodies raw and bruised.
We crawl, leaking from our knees, from our heels, from our toes- a mixture of copper and tears.

In the room the men are in coats,
they are rehearsing the scene where
they speak in graphs and sketch theories to my face.
Mumble to themselves like reciting scripture ‘this is too saturated’ ‘this needs more acidity’ ‘please take these testubes from my palms’.
The woman at the counter tells me about the laws of crystalisation
I ask how is her mother,
she tells me ‘your tears are good for salt’.
I ask for my salt
I ask for the receipt
I ask why is it strange that
I ask about her mother?
The woman at the counter hands me a paper bag weighing like silt.

I return when I run out of salt.