She is young and beautiful. She is asking me
something as she takes my arms and pulls me
up from the bed. She holds on to me and asks
if I can something as we walk towards
the thing she places my “hands” on.
It used to frighten me when I tried to remember
what was there before the bird flew away.
I stare into the blankness where words were.
“Wall,” I remember, they call that thing a wall.
It’s been a while since I spent my time
staring at the activity outside my hospital window—
a seventh-story window—
facing a parking lot below;
a window that would not open
because nurses never know
when a patient will discover how they really feel.
I took long walks down short hallways
lined with beige doors, walls interrupted
by neutral art, fruit in baskets,
earth-tone landscapes, calm colors captured
in whitewash frames.
There was always at least one cop
sitting on a folding chair
at the end of my hallway
outside of a patient's door.
I never found out which side of the law
that patient was on,
or what sort of secret
those cops were guarding.
I traveled roads I carved with my fingers,
I pressed Tonka treads across hills and valleys,
I wore out that truck; it felt good in my hands.
I don’t know if I spoke to my toy
or if it spoke to me
but we talked, every day.
When my truck died
I dug a grave in the sand and buried it.
I picked some weeds to place on its chest,
made a cross out of Popsicle sticks
and said a prayer:
Here is your god. Here is your grave.
There you go, now you are dead.
My hands were always dirty.
I rubbed fingers against my eyelids.
Specks sparkled inside the blackness of me. Continue reading