Ottawa Poetry Magazine –

"A Bottle of Bleach" by Jeremy Raymond

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Title image shows a woman sitting at a picnic bench reading while facing toward a scenic view of a river and government buildings.

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Published September 1, 2021

A Bottle of Bleach

by Jeremy Raymond
(Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

Sitting behind my vanity,
Choking on its acrid fumes
that straggle and linger
from it's meager remains.
Indented and crumpled: I damaged it
more than it ever damaged me.
What would it think of me?
Abusive, hated, and heedless,
I will wait until I can hate,
Only a selfish mind would think
'even a bottle of bleach wants to kill me'.

Nothing is left in the bottle,
but a small inlet of substance
that streams across the ruckles
and compression folds.
Its label torn, dangling, and wilted.
Droplets of bleach languish the ink,
causing the blue backing to bleed
into the wool-white letterings.

A skully warning, pasted under the sapped label,
neglected like the jagged cap,
that rolled away some time ago,
like how I did, moments ago.
another one reads the 'do's' and 'don'ts'

However, before I do,
with blemished flesh and red-seeping eyes,
I shall place this bottle back behind my broken mirror.
I will always remember
this bottle of Bleach: its ability for change;
I thirst for it's way
and always will.


Biography
Jeremy Raymond is Canadian Author born in a small town outside of Ottawa, Ontario. He currently resides in Ottawa where he studies at the Carleton University with a double major in Film Studies and English. Raymond's writings often encompass themes of violence, morality, loss, and loneliness while shifting to tones of individuality and perseverance. The majority of his work deeply explores mental health, attempting to speak to his generation on the issue and its interactions with society and the individual. More of Raymond's work can be seen being posted on his Instagram Poetry Account: @j.w.raymond.

Previously published in Ottawa Poetry Magazine:
"Fabrications" by Margaret Code

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