Darling, you’re a stain,

Savannah Sipple

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.


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