Darling, you’re a stain,
tobacco brown, round splashes on my hands,
my arms. The smell of Skoal — wintergreen —
lingers my neck when you kiss on me, every crevice
an open spit cup, every dark flake a hickey.
Your fat plug tucked between teeth and lip.
My mouth a pouch where you spread white patches,
sores; I’m losing my voice. I’ve tried
to wear you close as overalls,
arms locked heavy over shoulders.
I want to quit you cold-turkey,
but you stalk in spitting distance
and these yellowed stains on my fingers,
your fire-cured taint on my teeth,
I can’t strip them,
can’t scour your hills away.
about the author