I’ve written something for you. I started my new job, in the last…fortnight.
been reading Hopkins & Dylan Thomas…. tip of the hat, as they say.
Throw down your green hospital gown,
(they call it a gown), your paper ball gown,
you’re shimmering hospital royalty, wear sequins
at midnight…. throw down your glass, Cinderella’s
slipper slips from the gurney….
I limp to a windowless building, six months
seeing no one. Gates close behind me, phone silent
in my car. Swirls of prairie sunflowers, a Van Gogh
swirl of sky, clouds drop, mountains distant chopped
by frantic sheets of rain.
Red blood screams up the needle,
in the windowless wall, I see you again, in pain.
Forced to a silent briefing, a meeting, once more, from
before, from a time ago. Loud and hollow, memory
a yellow bulb.
I am signing my name, I am pressing buttons to enter
a door. I am king of the doors, my fingers make gold
from microbes in the air. Seven clocks rest
in the windowless screen,
rest. Pull up!
like a fighter plane, pull up
the sheets, blanket, curtains, the patient needs
rest. Pull up,
dreams of flying, of wings on
small horses. Dreams of white sails.
Dreams of men charting constellations.
Dreams of drums & firelight dances.
Dream wolves wait at the treeline.
Dreams of time machines & blue satellites.
Dreams of voices yelling, embraces, dancing
in our business suits, our war heels, our plastic faces.
Nurses run to the sound of your voice, nurses
I grit my teeth. Crisp winter, empty screen waiting
To yell my own name. Show me
faces in mirrors, my face twice, chains
wrap my neck, weighted or faces
dark, behind glass? (My heart is uneven.)
Reflections turn green as the day young,
with withered apples, how serious we become.
My pen bends, my mouse runs up the clock…hickory,
dickory, tick, tock. Hickory, dickory, dock.
Uneven as a day. Guards
quick-step past the bus stop. Wait, I must
wait. My prison is my hospital, is my bus ride home.
My black slipper falls from the steps of the bus….down
(down the steps of or with)
Your heartbeat. Your heartbeat, your-
My long shadow precedes me at the portal.
Keypad whispers, I put in numbers.
I cut off my ear for your call.
Poem for the sick,
patient at a military base.
You sparkling morning grass
at the parking lot’s end. Sunflowers
climb bright in the distant fields.