Keys and Such

If you want
a codex… some mapped book.
Some decoder ring.
If you
want to know where I’m stopped.

It’s his chest going up and down
in that beat up
hospital room
in Upstate,
room dolled up in faded yellow linoleum,
every day
every night
I’m sitting there,
holding the claw that was his hand.

There’s this hissing
sound, machines….

and in the hall, passing the doorway,
these muttering, half-mad men,
lobes being consumed by cancer,

guided by bitter nurses,
slippers going slap slap slap,
heels going clap clap clap.

casting hunched, Nosferatu shadows.

He and I are in a bubble,
I’m muttering desperate magic, prayers,
as if I’m making it go up,
go up
(and in my mind
I lean forward, reinflating, again
and again)
each time it drops.
It’s a beggars chant,
some low monotonic moaning,
making it go up again,
in that room
where the clock has stopped.

There’s always
a last whistle
as the magics fails me.

And everything becomes this faded yellow.


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