The doctor draws a series of complex diagrams.
Behind me, the bird is swinging wildly in its cage.
In the first of three graphs, tin is a color,
mercury a sunset, aluminum a stick-figure drawing
of a girl holding a small boy’s hand.
I realize that the methylation chain is filled with sorrows.
The doctor speaks methodically
as she traces a circular path with her finger.
I repeat the names of the essential aminos,
attempting to commit all ten to memory.
I purchase three bottles before leaving the office.
I tell the receptionist that I know what it means
to heal wounds and repair tissue,
that I know where to find a cool, dry place to store them.
Tomorrow, I will snap open the capsules,
force you to swallow.
You will hate me with your eyes
as you gasp for breath.
I will swallow handfuls when my heart grows weak,
when there’s no more energy for diagrams or theories,
when all the good bacteria have died like bees.