“Contemporary Studies in Shakespeare: Juliet Montague” By: D.S. West

The friar opens his hand on his
greasy green syringe of 1-8-1 Trioxin.
“This shit’ll chill your teeth out. The pain
begins in your lips, but travels out, like you’re
eating yourself alive, one bite at a time.”
His eyebrows are high. It’s evocative.
“I’ve heard the sensation compared to nausea,
but not of the stomach. Your trachea will—”
Finger circles. “implode. You’re going to choke
on perfectly good air…”
 

“Go on.”
 

“That’s when the real imaginary dying begins.
Thereafter it’s agony at the pores. Your sex will
shrink into your body like a wounded kitten
[the friar doesn’t make the connection you just did, it’s
just an apt comparison]
 

as the lungs withdraw, pressure sealed around
any argon in your system at the time of play death.
We’ll have to make your body worse than dead
so it really believes it’s dead. If we can’t fool
yourself, we can’t fool anyone.”
 

Juliet reaches for the syringe–
“Give me! Give me! Tell me not of fear.”
 

The friar holds it over her, he isn’t done
being religious, needing to see her afraid.
“When Romeo arrives, I’ll administer eleven secret
crippling blows, the shock of which will harmonize
your ringing pressure points. On key, high pitch squeal
that reactivates your undead stuck-spoke chakra wheels.
Actually, waking up is going to be worse than—”
 

“Dude. Chill out.” Juliet lights a fresh joint.
Her favorite scene: the scene outside her window.
The lovely idiot as he crossed his ankles,
like a hanged man, as he said,
‘Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized.’
 

She rolls up her sleeve. It’s sunny out.
“Shoot me up. I’m ready to ride again.”


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