Laughter: Attack

Arrowhead of flint

pierces your side and sinks

neat between your ribs

like love cleaving

a crack into the mess

that heaves underneath.


Your insides roused

you double over

gasping for air, thrashing

and clutching your aching belly

in blissful agony.


Cartoon tears spring

you blurt and whinny

lips stretched wide

and cheeks wound high.

The aftershock —


you throw your head back and shake

in deceptive volatile silence, sheerly unable

to take any more.


Just as the wave passes

heat wafting from your temples

you catch the darting glance

of your accomplice and erupt

in another attack.

All hell breaks loose.


You let go

of futile restraint


from the shell of respectability


into a new spate of frenzy


to the lashings

of a reflex run amok,

the original trigger

long forgotten

and irrelevant.


You sway and gasp

as if drunk or sick,

an insane genie

begging escape

from the confines

of its bottle.



all that trapped breath,

rogue spirit,

is released.

You are wiped out

and liberated, innocent

to the blinding light of day.




The heap next to you stirs.

Your friend, waking

from the same fever dream, blinking

through tears of laughter.


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