Blog Post / Fall 2016 / Issues / Poetry / Poetry 2016 / Volume 47

Treatise–Cindy King

Weariness, I feel you coming on big legs,
mascara running, boar’s breath fogging
windows as you lean on my door.

Sleeplessness, I see you pulse
behind my eyes, electricity split
between body and mind. Restlessness,
I smell your sharpshooter bent among bluebells.

(What more should I say?)

It’s not all boo-hoo in the borough.
The night nurse at St. Josephs is my kind
Aunt Caroline, her feet a grievance
against midnight and too-tight shoes.
I hear the kidneys’ stand-ins, the understudies for lungs
upstaging the fluorescent hum.
Fact outranks allusion.

A syringe rests in an ashtray.
(Is there anything more true?)
The pinch in my spine rolls back
shoulders, a minor-chord breath.
Again my body’s a pipe organ.
The patients, morgue-real and ready,
suck the all the air from the room, their beds
right behind those curtains. I have seen balding heads,
bodies shaved down to the bone.

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