Fall 2009 / Issues / Poetry 2009 / Volume 40

Analyzing Throat Sensations — Jason Bradford

Occasionally, on hot, humid days like today, except, not today, I feel like I have a rubber cork lodged in the opening of my lungs, which is ironic because lungs do resemble wine bottles, only slimy and squishy. You think it would hut too, but no. It’s more like a feather tickling the throat, but that’s not it, either. It’s that sensation after eating extra crispy bacon, or oatmeal cookies, or sometimes dry hamburger and forget to wash it down with an ice-cold Pepsi Product. Except, it’s gentler than that, though just as annoying. Why the fuck do they say tickling anyway? No, this is like having a damp cotton ball lodged behind your Adam’s apple, on one side, left or right depending on perspective. It’s like having a perception without the correct terminology to express the notion. Like realizing you locked your keys in the car at home immediately after doing so. You’re not going anywhere, but you feel like you should have your car keys available for some MacGyver maneuver, like opening the mail. Only for me, a person with a weak immune system and degenerating muscles, keys are useless and a rubber cork in the esophagus is terrifying, potentially signaling an oncoming respiratory infection, the leading cause of death for Muscular Dystrophy patients… That or it could be a frog I swallowed earlier.

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