Gut Reaction

By Thomas Scott Outlar

If it’s alive, it’s electric


If dead, the crows

will have pecked

out its eyes by now


If perishable, you can tell

by the general disposition


Seaweed and blue-green algae

sway my heart


Saltwater fills my throat

conductive during cayenne’s fever


A fire came to me in dreams

torched the terrain of my intestines


Left a seed of hope through shame

judged my weaker actions lacking


If it’s alive, it’s magnetic


If gone, the ghosts

will soon voice

the haunting season


If sustainable, you can weep

but the clock keeps ticking


Published on April 17th 2023




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