An elegant label for the body’s betrayal,
a leaky dam, a loss of containment.
Today’s trickles from once healed pin pricks
foreshadowed by your liver’s failure
to play its role in blood clotting.
Your eyes hold nimbus clouds compressed
to charcoal, no flash of fear, no bolt of anger.
You answer the question
my eyebrows ask.
It’s alright, I’m ready.
Anyone I can call?
No, no one.
Anything I can do?
No       well     yes       can you rub my feet?
I massage my promise
into your skin with lotion.
The next day, a new patient
occupies your room.

First appearing in Banister: Niagara Poetry Anthology Vol. 32 Oct. 2017