He rails at the coarse flannels, then kicks them to the ground with his covered feet;
he is wearing hospital socks
With traction: “Covered in teeth,” he says, of the raised, white pattern, and a blue
and white gown, made of little squares.
Each one has a caduceus inside: The nurses shed their skin each night and become serpents, or bank robbers, or mafia princesses.
They have taken all of his money and now they want his life.
“I had better let you go, they have a knife at my throat,” he says, one night.
I say goodnight and hang up.
The tip of the knife draws rubies from my skin and his.
It was never supposed to be this bad. “Don’t worry,” he would say.
“I’ll always be here for you.”
Once, I spent two years not talking to him.
I breathe the last line of the letter he finally sent me: