tonight i feel the fat in my stomach expanding
when i walk past the mirror in the closet i am grotesque
this is not the body i know
and i cannot account for the electrode tails
streaming from my chest like heavy snakes
i make sure i do not disturb

that something alien is listening
every single thump
is nearly too much to bear

the heat in the walls clangs with a deep rhythm
i look down towards my feet and try to uncover the hymn
in all this

i try to stay as still as a patient in an MRI
and let my mind hover over the places on my chest
where the wind from the open window hits
and where it no longer hits

it is snowing outside this time of year in new york

i do not dare to speak God’s name

i run my thoughts like a busted pipe
soaking the pictures and blankets in my basement
but when the source finally runs dry
sleep doesn’t come

what am i meant to see here
in suffering

i am lightheaded and i am scared
but between the throb of chronic pain that makes my muscles hard
i am intellectual and calculating
and i strive to be loving
and send good thoughts to those who know they will still be living
this time next year

its all i can do

i keep a suction cup from the holter monitor
so that on the day i am healed i can say some choice words
to a vanishing sickness
and give that sickness a face


"Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as hollow as fear." - from Tao Te Ching