The Wailing Well

by Peg Duthie

Even the water tastes like shreds,
like seams ripped open
by too much to contain.

Every passer-by
leaves with cotton-mouth,
breath ragged and shallow

as the touch of unsure love
hovering above a wound
where even the lightest salve
scrapes the skin like a match.

Peg Duthie's poems have appeared at qarrtsiluni, Strange Horizons, Dead Mule, 7x20, and elsewhere.

When asked to name her favourite fruit, she replied as follows: "I don't have any one favorite fruit, but I get sentimental over lychees: among other things, they remind me of my family's shuttered apothecary in Taiwan, a Chinese lunchstand in Paris, and a gas station south of Jerusalem."

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