Tucked Into An Ice Bath and Other Poems by Merlin Flower

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Tucked into an ice bath

Someone served me a

rough-edged glass of smooth

cough syrup with a price change of


my eyes lit up. I smiled after months.

the syrup overthrew desperation too.

what a magic syrup!

Blown away by the taste and enriched lightness

I went outside.

From the air,

a bird dropped something.

it landed on the dog’s head.

no second chance.

The air took a breather

i gulped some nothingness.

someone gave me another glass of cough syrup.

sipping the liquid,

 I asked my niece to learn a second language

perhaps Tamil.

I know Japanese, she shrugged.

The dog killed the neighbour’s cat

god killed my Dad.

brazen grief unwrapped

in a sluggish pace.

in a hopeless wander, squished by sleeplessness 

and dissolved by tears, I walked.

trust broken, God limped away.

I dreamt of alternative options

for lunch. The anemic salad stayed.

Dad will never taste anything

No one will ask if I’ve 



read or wrote.

the day continued, night stayed.

His tablets keep expiring, too.

They appealed in the ‘waste not,

want not,’ mode. The strife, thrived.

In the mirror, his face peeks through

my face, ending the thought.

Phew! Freshly hatched abstinence for alcohol 

alongside an introduction to syrups.

Another glass of syrup.

The land shrunk with

laden heat. I looked at the chair. The 

same leaning one where Dad




and waited as I took his blood pressure.

The highs, the lows.

The really high that sent him


Now the cat sleeps curled.

Let me add an ‘also’.

out of the corrals, you

said I exist too. When they put a

full stop after the sentence, I changed it 

a  comma. Without the enslavement, you

took in the juicy air. The warmth 

richly overshadowed the 

doubts lot of their questions and 

accusations bred.

Space in logic

I was upset

at my eye. The

left one. It had

shut up shop, you see.

I asked dear merciful God

for vision. Our dear merciful God

paralyzed me for seven months

and took my life. Now I 

see in full.

Merlin flower is an independent artist and writer

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