Henry VIII

Sometimes her name
(a guillotine blade)
falls from my mouth
against my will
as if on cue--
like when our favorite gin joint
serves my sandwich with the gherkin
that made me sick last winter.
Maybe it's pathetic
to the patron hunched
on the stool to my right
but at least there's a name to say.

What they don't print
on that bottle of pills
is that you have to believe
in the medicine you're taking
if you want it to work.

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