blackbirdonline journalFall 2009  Vol. 8  No. 2
print version

Tidal Volume
     for D.

A body can weep. Its arms
and belly. Its feet, hung

from the edge, weep a sticky,
rose-colored pattern on the floor.

Waterlogged, we open like gauze.
What should be separate

blends and taints. The drip
chamber, the insensible

loss of tears, vapor. Before
mechanical ventilation she asks

for a Diet Pepsi, parched
by nerve’s necessity—salt junk,

womb, margarita, sweat.
Petals blow in the blush

of contrast. Whisper of removal,
heaves and flutters. Hands

on her chest, she says I feel
birds in the courtyard. Hands

over her eyes, she says You
look tired. How far is your home?

In the reflection, I see her
at a dinner table. She’s not

wearing a gown, not bruised.
Borders move and strand us,

poised bridgeless, convergence
of persistence and arrest.

Hands open, she says My wallet
with everything is right here.   end

return to top