Poem 158

bedside

I want to pull it out of you

the parts inside that make you sick

the ever-ache that makes you sick

the part of you that makes you sick

and I know it will be messy

but I want it all           out

every piece, in a slender string

I am certain, in taking the corner

it will come to me          a ribbon,

a folding coil… be gone

I want it all       out

the part of you that makes you sick

but it is your body

with its teeth                 turned inside

out! The parts of you that are crooked

and strange, the parts that would harm

I’d pull them out with my cleanest hands

and heal you whole

and heal your soul.

—ECW

Poem 30 Revised

Fever begins in the mouth—a tongue press’d

On the teeth, sand caked to the gums—your thumbs

Way-in-the-back crushing your molars to dust.

//In the eye—fever vows lies, that others are sweating

Others are pale, the man there beside you has let loose a wail,

//Coughs comforts from deep-deep in the throat,

These, not from a fever—no—not on your lips,

The lady beside you has covered her chips

//In the mind, a refuge of faith, not sick contagious,

Please hand me a tissue, hay fever or vent dust

List yourself issues. See, nothing at all, lean on the guard rail

Rest by the wall, this isn’t a fever, you’re not really ill

If it were your neighbor, board windows—take action!

But since it’s your fever you hope for compassion.

—ECW

 

Poem 30 EditingPoem 30 Original