Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Welding Torches

“Bones like fairy dust,” they said.
Stress fractures in the vertebrae; a fibula
that took two years to heal; two
bone marrow transplants.
The angel of death
hovers, beats his hummingbird wings,
darts in for little sips of nectar
with his hypodermic bill.

The wind comes off the snow
at four in the morning: the dog
shrugs in her sleep. Stars are swung up
by invisible hands, like toddlers
shrieking for – joy? – fear? – and the morning
builds slowly underground.

When I tell her she looks good,
she shrugs. “If you still have your hair,
people figure you're not sick.”
Her eyes glance at me for a moment
before they turn aside.

I cradle her feet while you
speak softly to her, five feet away,
a thousand miles away, where the stars
burn like tiny welding torches; where

they are building something in the night sky –
something sightless, infinitely complex.

I look up to see the tears come in your eyes:
all of our stories
are converging. The stars
run down your cheeks: this
is what flickers on the dark steel
rising in her nights.

4 comments:

Dick said...

What a set of striking contrasts here, Dale: beautiful imagery driving a haunting, ominous narrative, the whole piece compassionate and tender.

Lucy said...

Achingly beautiful.

elisasspot said...

Tell her that I love her. I lift her up with all that I am, and with what I am not, I love her. Those looks are everything to me, when they stay--in the moments they do not dart away, I see God, and I love her. --e

marly said...

A keeper.