Another Night of Dread

Written by: Ngoc Nguyen

It is dark and night outside my window,
and in the soundless, lit confines of my 
room I sit at my old, ivory desk 

cheerless

and anxious with dread for what the rest
of another night may bring.

My ostomy bag, an abhorrent creature that 
hugs precariously on one side of my abdomen,
covers my raw and fleshy stoma underneath. 

Against my desire, the stoma continually oozes  
feces and waste 

like a sewer into the ostomy bag, which, 
every seven days or so ruptures its seal 
and transforms into

a stinking and rancid cabbage

whose fetid odor refuses to stop emanating 
until the entire, offensive beast is immediately 
uprooted from my body.

So, I sit at my ancient, ivory desk, writing 
these cherry-picked words to express

the anxiety and the doldrums 
of another night;  

and the lonely, isolating, embarrassing, humiliating,
ego-wiping, self-esteem killing, mind-numbing, 
soul-shattering, universal, all-embracing, 
omni-present 

stench 

that weekly offends my nostrils and fills my lungs 
because of a thoroughly used-up ostomy bag that 
needs to be removed immediately

like an old, decaying vegetable 
that has outlived its 
freshness--

It is another cheerless night in the same, old
cheerless space: 

the nose-blistering smell, however, is only for 
another night...