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Kirby Wright

Published In: Hawaii Review, Blue Mesa Review, The Cape Rock, Artful Dodge, Red Rock Review, Maryland Review, Wisconsin Review, Slipstream, The Prose Poem, Slant
Awards: Ann Fields Poetry Prize, Academy of American Poets Award, two-time winner of Robert Browning Society Award for Dramatic Monologue


I sit on a bed by the window
smelling Clorox and Pine-Sol.
A bouquet of silver balloons
shines on my bookshelf.
Mr. Wigton, my latest neighbor,
snores through his feeding tube.
Those are diapers and flowers
piled on his counter.
Nurse Debbie delivers
chocolate pudding in a paper cup.
I study the violets.

I see eyelids
struck by moonlight
flutter like wings.

I remember my subscription
to "Life," smoking pipes,
wearing a jacket and slippers,
deep knee bends before ten,
calculating taxes.
There was a woman in a purple dress
who smiled at me, really smiled.
My second son gets in tonight
arrives with his second wife
soon after midnight.
At twilight, May Hong makes
Jell-O, fries, chicken pot pies.

I hear cries
just before
they go.

My teeth ache for red rare meat.
I watch Queeny the gardener
butcher elms in the courtyard.
He chainsaws limbs,
hacking off parts,
then stacks as wooden blocks.
I suck chocolate
through a straw.
Nurse Debbie bends over,
adjusts the wheels of my stroller.