I want to have another look at your heart.
My microscope went blind last time--
I squeezed it too hard, like a sponge when I'm angry-cleaning.
I was too fascinated, sappy,
needful as a driver in a wreck.
Bring me an ambulance in the shape of a spyglass.
I want to find my own ghost.
I thought your bones were made from hard cane,
your hair caramelized smoke.
I wore a white coat (as if I knew something),
glasses made from willow switches, and a half moon smile.
Relax, I told you, but it was me in the coma.
Now--please hold still for once. These worms aren't good,
like the plastic model I saw at the vet's. Your heart,
like the plastic kitchen I used to play with,
practicing to be a fly that would bite you one day.
Eat my attention, it's good for you.
Each worm burrowed there is something I said,
some of which I meant--the rest was practice for a role.
Let me pull one out like a string, pull it and it speaks this poem,
a pretty wasp with a stinger where the truth pools.
I am too harsh, I know. I am the laundress who bleaches everything,
a maniac for killing the invisible baddies, a hospital candy striper
performing unauthorized tests that do nothing, or at least,
don't cure or induce any useful fevers.
I have your results. I'll bring them down to the morgue where my
hand awaits its conclusions as if they were a ring or a nail.
they weren't worms,
just paper streamers.
I infected you
but it made you better for a while.
the microscope cannot be repaired.
my report needs to be presented in a recognized language.
i'm sorry, truly, if i hurt you
that was never my intention.
this poem is not written in my true voice.
i was never your babe.
that was never your heart.
Music: Igor Paspalj "The Thrill Is Gone"
for Desperate Poets "Illicit Encounters"