Thursday, December 8, 2016

One last bite

Just before life spirals down 
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.
Such strength!
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! 
How shocking. 
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