a night in the ER


rows of emergency room teeth,

did chew and mend the broken, oh,

did chew and mend the broken men,

to spit us as one at night’s end;

two beds down white gowned warriors,

did pull a broken blade from he,

did pull a broken blade with glee,

to find he once again with breath;


hunched beside my blue-lipped sister,

listing the ways that I did love,

listing the ways I never said,

to vomit-breathed deliberate death;

her little body did say no,

expelled the medicine cabinet,

expelled the cabinet that laughed,

a hundred dry-swallowed hiccups;

or maybe more I do now know,

how this bed supports the selfish,

how this selfishness now does sleep,

off selfless chaos underneath;

her little brow it should not know,

the pain equal to that man’s blade,

the pain that may as well have stabbed,

her through the nave to golden chops;

but I am not now two beds down,

my mind’s back here with mum’s baby,

my mind and mum’s baby’s are back,

to think and bleed as one foul knot;

tomorrow I will smell the smell,

of vomit that sticks to the stairs,

of vomit stuck fibres in hairs,

five showers hellishly failing;

and I will jump into the sea,

tomorrow, yes tomorrow me,

tomorrow, give up showering,

and scrub yellow shadow casting;

my head it dips below the waves,

I close my eyes and see the teeth,

I close my eyes but underneath,

those rows behind my eyelids reach;

the stained glass blue and broken beat,

will wash my skin eternally,

will wash the skin soap could not reach,

and curl the toes upon my feet;

I do not know I do not know,

If anyone else loves you so,

If anyone else knows the crows,

That circle round our rotten blood;

we share a sickened chemistry,

you and I both we live as one,

you and I both will die as one,

so don’t try to kill us again!

and though below slow crawling waves,

where I once heard the ocean’s hum,

where once found peace beneath the sun,

I now hear a dull monotone;

For those rows of yellowing lights,

twelve hours in a dial tone

and intra-venous metronomes,

have left the cold sea deafening.