into the waiting game bag like a bird
shot in midair--
it is still summer,
the summer before
it all begins to end--
he wakes from a nap
and wants a burger; one crooked wing
reaching up, his hand clawing mine.
Still manhood in it!
(Even the fire fighter who lifts him
from the floor five times last month thinks so.)
And he scolds, Come on! Help me up!
This impatience hurts me, but I say, ok! ok!
I'm doing the best I can!
Which now I regret; how I regret it,
this, all my corruptions.
And then my arms wrench under his pits
and lift him as the feral wife and forklift I’ve become.
I lift, lift, lift my man’s heft, his clots of skin,
his flossy egg white hair leaping from his head,
until he stands,
wobbles and shuffles, a man on a ship rocked by storm
and I drop him into the wheel chair and bend down,
nose to nose to cream the bruises on his cheeks
as stars and tiny warships dart from his globes.
I don't see my groom in there and this drains
hope, the blood of life, from my own body
but his hunger galvanizes us so I pull
his bird feet from the floor onto the footrests.
He repeats, I want a burger with everything on it!
He has not eaten in days
and now when all is lost,
when his mouth
and vital organs are going berserk,
he craves life--one last sweet bite of it--
and so I rush to the door, lay down the ramp,
push the wheel chair hard and fast
over that ramp because it is a bridge
and we are rolling, rolling
over water that is rising, ever rising