Halogen by Regina Caggiano

The end times are marked by the starving of the second mouth: the one wired open in the crook of the arm, upturned, twined around the final finger of God by a plastic thread. In times like these we feed on Salt – the bag, the vein, the needle

the cell, the lumen, the lining, 

the drip.

(if all points of entry to this world are watery)

When there were no wet-goggled angels in sight: in the before-times swimming was permitted. The storm waves over the shore showed us how fluid accumulates. We didn’t know we would return alone, reciting memory to the sand. 

                              (how to separate a mixture)

Salt in lungs is an age-old medicine. Going in droves to those perforations of earth for the cure to the common cold, crevice carved by the trickle of rain down the limestone finger of God. In the Salt cave, with its teeth bright and soluble, one may witness how crystal decays to air. 

(halotherapy)

Across any bodily rupture one may find Salt fizzing on either side. In the cells in membranous gradients,

the neuron sparkling, the water diffused, floating in the visceral lumen. Salt for when the meat must be preserved, for drying out infection, for flavor, to smother a fire, for gargling

at the back of the throat. Salt to kill the weeds before they spread, scattered over black soil, tiny stars wrought with prayers to be delivered from the brine.

(what is an Intra Venus line)

In the womb the lungs remember nothing. The hospital vents tell us

stories of how all exhales labored return by way of many bodies

as a first breath. Among the ambient whirr of life there is

always Salt circulating, in the fluorescence of the

sterile room, in the crush of sweat down

the face of an angel, in the catheter’s

drip, in the wound


Regina Caggiano is a 20 year old emerging writer and Literary Arts student. She lives on the upper East Coast where she has never meaningfully left New England. Her work has appeared in Crash Test Magazine, 805 Lit + Art, and is forthcoming in Beyond Words Literary Magazine. More of her work can be found at https://regina-caggiano.wixsite.com/writing.