Breath Mint {prose poetry}

mint

Breath Mint

 

I unlaminate by back from the booth seat—it’s just like a 50’s diner to be so—clingy, more false than its elderly patients’, excuse me, clients’ teeth. It’s just so jukebox sterile. “Have a mint on your way out,” the hostess smiles, too much whipped cream on the strawberry malt. The mint bowl is half-full of emptiness. My hand hovers, remembering the sensation of a peppermint crowbar prying open my sinuses, my tongue neutralizing powdery skin. It is suspicious, the powder. Dust from the counter, the calcified perspiration of candy decay, the undercooked residue of decadence. Did this mint sit in the kitchen with the hands that massage raw chicken, with the fake eyelashes of my waitress, with the extremities of the restroom plumbing system? Poison. Nearly French for ‘fish’, but missing the extra snake. It would be so easy to murder me with an arsenic breath mint, but I trust this mint not to hurt me, to lay a spore in my stomach, so I pop it into my mouth, easy as a cannonball into a cool summer pool where it will swim about until it realizes that it is deteriorating, dissolving. I am the missing snake.

-M.M.

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