Bedside

Mouth

dark sea cave

where the tongue rounds,

thrusts quick to the edge

then back again.

 

A long time I stare

there, like falling

into night if night

were a tide pool.

All that energy in your tongue

darting code I can’t read.

 

Left arm bent,

an involuntary lifting

(back of your hand to your face

to ward off—what?)

how it looks like a  broken wing.

 

Your skin slackening,

your face, the bony skull

of anatomy books,

small burls of your knees,

hip bones, two beaks pushing upward

as if the skeleton could rise

through diminishing muscle and flesh—

strange bird about to be born

 

I want every last minute

fiercely as the toddler who screamed

and refused to relinquish your hand.

 

You’ll wait till I’ve gone.

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