Posts Tagged ‘prose poem’




I wanted the artwork hung on the wall, a slip of paper with bright splattered paint. I had no tape, no tack, no nail. But strange, in the corner I noticed a small brown mound of shit. And strange I could not smell it. I did not know how it had come to be there. Did not know how long it had been on the floor. And for reasons I can only explain as urgent, I considered its sticky properties. The possibility clicked in before the revulsion. By then it was too late. I took my naked hand and smeared a brown arc on the wall, then pressed into it the art. It held. It occurred to me to be embarrassed. It occurred to me it was gross. Unhealthy. Unnormal. I was repulsed. And slightly proud in making due when resources are few. There was some pleasure in the way I shocked myself. Not with what I did, but with how I dare now to tell the truth.


**Dear friends, this is, of course, from a dream. 

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I know it’s your job, to monitor the heart rate as it rises, the blood pressure as it falls. I know the gray-haired woman in the bed is another set of numbers with a name you’ll forget. She’s my mother. She grows tomatoes on her porch and has a song to sing for every occasion. She loves side stroke and chocolate and Japanese art. She makes the best poached eggs, and she knows exactly how to scratch my head to lull me to sleep. I know it’s your job to find the clot. To bathe the wound. To ease the pain. Thank you. Thank you for your hands as they slip the needle into her arms, the arms that gather me when frightened or cold. Thank you for your feet as they run down the halls to examine her heart, her heart that holds so many. Thank you for your art as you puzzle the why of her body, her body that knows itself as a vessel for love and prayer. She is praying for you, even now, as I do, and though you are just doing your job, thank you.

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