IN THE LANGUAGE OF ILLNESS
What beautiful stillness.
This is not
what I had expected. I have already seen you succumb
to kaleidoscopic chemical trips that took you
through nights of astral planes
and sidereal views. This is different,
so unlike what I have come to accept,
how hallucinatory helicopters heave
up your bed night after night, great
mandible monsters nudging the plastic crucifix
hung on your bare wall.
Elevated within an engine hum, you confessed
to wondering if the door was closed
or if you might roll out, a sleeping bag
unraveling past tiny stars, admitted
there might be some small comfort
in the thought of nothingness
in the air,
and then demonstrated, spiraling
howl of wind drawing your cheeks
into hollow shadows, your eyes
into small black bones, your skin
taut against your skull
as if searching for darkness, tiny roots, dry dirt --
how to throw your arms out to the ground rushing up
to meet you. Only to land like this.
Perfectly, like a bubble that's landed intact
on the floor. I was afraid to touch you.
Iowa City, Iowa
The Cream City Review, The Peidmont Review, Midwest Poetry Reveiw, and Whole Notes; and online in Gravity: a Journal of Online Writing, Music and Art, The Melic Review, The Horsethief's Journal, Stagger, Dust On Our Palms, Stirring, etc.
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