This building is a porch. The bricks bend
where I stood behind windows,
smoking cigarettes and waiting for a ride.
White paper cots lie like coffins in his office,
near the place where his brain flew on the blue plastic furniture.
It was here he once pressed onto my apologetic breathing belly,
checking to see where I might appear.
His hands were over my hands, catching my breath
and swallowing it so as not to tickle.
It worked, the way he caught fire on a Memorial Day.
The cleaners would not be there to gently cradle
him as he slept, leaning his colossal chin and neck
onto the carpet as he slowly stopped his nodding.

There is a baby for a bulimic,
a fifteen year old with no self-esteem, he said,
one-twenty-six and one-oh-three at the same time.
I wasn't out of reach, being such a liar.
It might have been Tennessee, or even Louisiana,
but doctors must think that all cells are hopeless--
shaped like two little girls in the snow.
He chose not to become a veterinarian,
but he must have been half-blind to miss the broken rims
and blubbery smile of the blue swivel stool
that almost broke after every appointment.

I move my hands before going to sleep, trying to keep
connected, but the sound of rustling paper makes me think
of blood pressure, or mitochondria.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.