Chrys Tobey: Headaches



Sour milk down the throat,

seagulls screeching in your ear,

tearing your mind in half like sour dough.

You’re trapped in an elevator.

Someone is peeling off your pinky nails.

Your neighbor drills holes into your clock.

You’ve got needles in your gums.

Your eyeballs have no sockets,

smell of rotting tooth, singed skin.

The doctor cauterizes your nose,

bathes you in cheap cologne.

Helicopters circle around your head.

Both legs fall asleep.

The lobster is a raw onion.

The child cries in a pot.

Your head is a jammed printer,

a heart pumping

through your temples

lub dub, lub dub

cracked asphalt.

You’ve got two craters on the moon.

Your eyes are flashlights.

You dive into a bathtub,

walk on warm sand,

step on a rusty nail.

You’re the car door

your thumb is stuck in.


About the Author

Chrys Tobey was born and raised in Cleveland. She left Cleveland when she was nineteen and settled in amongst the planted palm trees in Southern California. After graduating from Antioch University’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing program, she loaded up the car, pointed it north and moved to Portland, leaving behind a budding career in the field of Science Fiction Music Writing. (Her fan club still holds meetings).

Chrys’ poems are published in many literary journals including Poetic Diversity, Soundings East, The Pen, Mad Poet’s Review, Salt Hill, and Margie.


“Headaches” was first published in The Mochila Review.