Matthew Sweeney

(1952 / Lifford)

Urine Therapy - Poem by Matthew Sweeney

After the needles, the yoga, he turned to urine therapy
so each morning he rose and peed into a pint glass
then downed it in one. At first it was difficult not to gag
but he kept in his head the image of that 120-years-old
Japanese man who ascribed his longevity to drinking his pee
every morning since the day of his 21st birthday,
and who came across, on TV, as being fitter than a flea.

And he collected all the writings of John W. Armstrong
who'd developed the therapy in the 1930s
as a way of cleansing the body by reingesting toxins -
an ingenious and impertinent double bluff, he thought
and imagined John W.'s first tentative sipping
of the warm, newly delivered, deep yellow liquid
behind the securely locked door of his bathroom.

No, he would never let a taste and a smell beat him,
and soon the variants in both led him to nudge
his diet to the bolder peripheries - curries, garlic,
asparagus, of course, the lemongrass and rotted shrimp
of Thailand, sashimi, chilli and basil, cabbage -
and along with the assortment of freshly squeezed juices
he slipped in the odd whisky or brandy night-cap

to give the slightest of frissons to that first sip
the following morning, and bring a smile to the face
behind which all the illnesses he was ruling out
were being listed, and all extra years he'd live
were being added up, and all the wrong-footed toxins
were unwittingly working so hard for him
before his grapefruit, his coffee, his wholemeal toast and jam.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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