Sunday, August 9, 2015

Drinking Frappuccinos on a Dementia Ward

Drinking Frappuccinos on a Dementia Ward

At last, the night-mind’s unconsoled colic                          
—bleak lashing tears, fumblings in shredded  
junk—gives way to day’s sweet milk you       
once brought me, need before word, word    
before names, a world certified by just           
this warmth, soft touch, familiar smells.     

There are holes in your head, there are holes 
in mine as well. I don’t speak carelessly—
How could I in this place made only of          
particulars: one bed, one bureau, two scuffed
chairs. A tiny plastic dog that was the year’s best gift.

Self’s own siege grinds devious. Opaque as opening
your hand while keeping it clenched tight. Hard as the
glare ice that forces water from my eyes
and lets soft colours bloom.

What a passage nature shipped you on. Its                 
scissoring deaths and random flaring births, your      
dogged hemmed-in fight stamp witnessing to space. 
Vacuum voice to murmurs, murmurs into void.       
But heart is not a hole. In its dark, thick
wild shoots and rustlings, swarms of succulent     
tiny tadpoles huddling in mud-rut puddles.
Deep earth hum of sitting quietly together.

This peace we sit in, sipping, being beyond    
names, is also beyond time, a thousand          
day-nights passing exactly the same way:                   
sun coming up, sun climbing a pale blue hill, sun
going down. Milk of moon and cloud exchanging places.

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