Toilet Story |
by Natasha Lumba

Every morning, I brush my teeth
to prepare for the onset
of gaseous dirt, one tally
removed from my total
or so they say
in faded PSAs.

Every morning, I take two pills
one blue, one white,
or two blue, one white
or two blue, one white & one apricot.
I wait
for them to grout my insides
with effects both intended
& tertiary. Then I lay
my ashtray out & fill it.

The pink & orange blossoms
have recently returned,
and I see them best
with my ass to the porcelain. So,

every morning, when I sit down
to take my waking piss,
I stare out into the floral foreground,
past into the lone telephone pole,
the cypress trees,
and crane my neck
in search of those hummingbirds—
the signal of a
good day.

But the hummingbirds,
they’ve stopped coming by.
The other fowl tortures me
with their contrarian movement,
their wings that flap,
their hearts that don’t beat fast enough,
their cacophonous words.

My eyes, I keep the corners
wide open for the stagnant movement
of the unkosher, hovering bird—
an old, abandoned lover
who no longer stops by for my nectar.

I remember, just before the blossoms
fainted, the hummingbirds came back
for one last fill of their flutes.
Then winter sketched them sparse.

They say Spring begins on March 21st
but I’ve been waiting like a
virgin for my reawakening,
for the smoke to calm my lungs
like it once did, for the pills
to make me talk like they once did,
for the hummingbirds to migrate
back to my bathroom sill.

But as I trace my toes
from tile to hardwood
my cat greets me with a meow
and sleepy, green, half-moon eyes.
As she sits like a sphinx
atop a bed of dead
feathers, I think
“waking up every morning
next to a cat, now that
is the sign of a
good day.”

Natasha Lumba studied Creative Writing at University of Southern California until she dropped out to go into a career in fashion design. Nonetheless, she always has a journal with her or is scribbling on cocktail napkins in the corners of bars. Currently, she works in Manhattan, lives in Brooklyn, and tries to create something every single day, be it poetry, music, art, food or money. She stands behind her diction, her juxtaposition of grit & femininity, and the vulnerability of her poetry. She writes the way she lives-- unedited and unapologetically. At her last poetry reading she was standing on a chair in front of her neighborhood bar then fell backwards two stanzas into her second poem straight onto her back and head. She was bleeding profusely. On her walk home, she gave every passerby a bloody high five.