I Have Gone Shimmering into Ungentle Sleep
This fever is my tutor. It lectures
scarlet on my cheeks, pale quarter-moons
on all my fingernails, a heart that gallops beneath
the cold sting of stethoscopes unleashed.
I repose & ripen with the weight of secrets,
for I swore an oath to silence.
This bed my penitentiary, though
my chains pointless, cotton-woven.
Lethargy of limbs another symptom
pressed into the chart. The noise of the pen
blisters the brain. The catheter in the vein
delivers ruination, dreams induced to knock
my damaged crown askew. When I wake, my bones
have been replaced with porcelain, sinew
altered to wire, & my tongue, my tongue
lets loose what once was barred & guarded.
Previously published in Hayden's Ferry Review