For Now, Let’s Just Talk

There is no other sign of life here,
only my fingers caught between
the wooden pages of a newspaper.

When everyone else builds
the flat packed cement houses outside,
me and the nurse behind the glass
scrutinise each other, munching dry biscuits
and maybe
saying sorry for the spoilt tea nobody drinks.
Of this I am not yet so sure.

I suppose she checks the pulse,
the nurse with a concrete face
keeps filling in the charts
with the same precision she fills in
the crossword spread open
over my legs.
I do not mind.

I say to her ‘could you please remove the batteries
from the white clock’ the time
does not matter now
what matters, I think she says, is hanging on in there.
Her own watch upside down
hanging on, just about, with her name badge.

I offer her my bed.
I could after all sit in the waiting room
by the door
or make her coffee, I suggest.
But Susan points her finger at that hole,
uncovered wound on my chest.

‘For now, let’s just talk.’
The bare wall is
the last thing I remember and
Susan watching the news.

IMG_3549.JPG
Photo: John Stadnicki

Morning

You hurry to polish the shoes in the hallway
the black mud covers the white stone
the music is loud and
I think I can hear the tap dripping but
prefer to cover my head
under the blanket and pretend
I’m asleep. I choose to look away
as you leave the house and let the door open.
Not going anywhere today. I will
sit by the window with an unopened book.
The sun hidden by my expensive curtains.
The running water floods the entire house
and I’m happy
at last
drowned in my own thoughts.

20140318-195303.jpg