Pardons Of An Overly Breath Conscious Person

I’m something out of a western film if someone
tries to cross me with a weapon called bad breath.
I shove a wad of parsley in their mouth, watch it
blossom into the Garden of Eden. I keep a cooler
in my car with pineapple juice, vinegar,
and milk for when paranoia haunts me then sends
me back to that day when a customer’s breath
reeked of armpit and vomit—nearly sent me to the
ER—since then, I vowed to never emit such combustion.
There is a tattoo across my chin that says Tobacco
Consumers At Least Twenty Feet. Once brought a date
home; she was taken by end tables decorated
with tongue scrapers, told her take one, pointed
to the bathroom, suggested my homemade mouth-wash,
baking soda laced with cinnamon oil was. Politely
whispered to use one of the toothbrushes with bristles
made from wood. See the mouth can be the Sahara
Desert, only if you let it. Pardon my dream last night
of that customer of many decades ago, drinking
bleach; I shouted Pine-Sol is better because it’s scented.
Funny, now, I understand why the elders always were
nagging to eat your fruits and veggies, it’s the secret
to the mouth being a door to the divine. Now excuse
me as I hold my Listerine bottle like a whiskey flask.

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