I Wrote This Poem With My EpiPen

Anaphylactic Shock

I’d been working all morning
on a fifth grade science
project at my friend Paul’s
house when his mother served
us soup for lunch, forgetting
to exclude the cup of milk
she’d added countless
times before.

Seconds after eating
a healthy spoonful
I knew it in my gut.
My face swelled like
a hothouse tomato,
lips turned marble blue.
My throat rebelled
against my lungs,
refusing to let air pass
without a fight.

I rushed sneezing out
the front door straight
for home, afraid I
wouldn’t make it.
Paul would have to glue
Styrofoam Neptune
and Styrofoam Pluto
to the poster board solar
system we created
in an unfinished basement
on the day of the week
God famously rested.

You know how bee stings
sometimes kill innocent
children at amusement
parks or backyard barbecues
on the Fourth of July?
That could be me but
with pizza, frozen yogurt,
french silk pie or Fun Size
Milky Ways any day of the week.

That must suck, says
everyone I tell.
They can’t live without
mozzarella sticks, Frappuccino,
buttered popcorn
or Cool Ranch Doritos.

Some of us are sensitive
souls with glitches
in the spirals of our DNA.
To survive we bring our own
buns to hamburger joints,
spread soy margarine on plain
baked potatoes, make friends
at kosher bakeries and pray
to God the dopey Applebee’s
waitress reminds the cook
to clean the grill
and hold the cheese.

c b snoad
draft 3-9-13
edit 1-26-17