More Than A Deficiency

If yellow invades my fingers, it is not
from obstinate dependence on nicotine.

God knows my health palpitates enough despite
the half-glass of wine I down every night.

Though I bend under this need to glut on
laundry starch and swallow someone else's dirt,

I confess being strong enough for nausea
before a platter of red meat. If my heart

fails me on hemoglobin production, it must be
from malaise. Lately I cannot keep count

of ferrous sulfate doses prescribed by doctors
much less unlock tightly sealed bottles.

Last night a vacuum salesman inveigled me
into buying a wrought-iron bed designed

for resting exhaustion, I hadn't the guts
to admit I'd rather have preferred a backbone.

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