Gentle Waft of Intestines by Esther Betts


Yesterday was another failure
There’s no way I can pay the rent for the hostel now
Not because I don’t have enough money, no
But because I know I will spend that money before I’m able to pay
Of course I could pay in advance
But I don’t want to
I want to fail
The doctors warned me about this
That the blood would come back
When I headed out at 9am yesterday
Only half an hour after I woke up
I knew the blood would come back
But recently, King Booze has been demanding interest
Every day I wake up exhausted
I can’t shower, I can’t read, I can’t even eat
I can’t even look for jobs
To replace the one I lost
Due to too much absence and illness
I’m sorry but to survive I have to fail
Like I was doing a chore, I slunk to the nearest Wetherspoons
Ordered the cheapest pint
Glue IPA
Something that tastes repulsive to me
I felt my face contort as I forced it down my gullet
But I drank it all
By the end of the day I had been born again
I could move, perhaps too much
I had spent well over thirty pounds
But I was energised again
Today, I don’t even know if I’m still energised
Maybe I need to drink again
The damp cloth of shame covers my heart
I go to the toilet and my shame is confirmed
The blood has come back
The constant fizz of acid reflux
The warm singe of heartburn
Now a constant in my life
The doctor at the walk in clinic was very clear
My intestinal walls have been severely damaged
Now I sit in a cafe, I can see in their fridge
They have bottles of cider
The gentle waft of blood and intestines slithers up to my nose
But last time I tried to stop drinking
I almost died
I lost a lot of my friends
Well, all my friends except booze
There’s no way I could quit whilst living in a hostel
I go up and ask for two bottles

Esther Betts is an aspiring writer/poet based in Bristol, her work is interested in exploring the darker sides of people's minds.


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