I barely know how
deep this illness has stepped,
what new season of burning dreams
I will inherit, or from outside, is
there a weed I can pull I have not
seen, is there something to swallow
I have refused to swallow, sealed
up in my solitude, knocked about
against some ridged rocks and the sober earth
of doomed starvation. Open light,
open and let me see the harvest I have worked so
hard to ripen, let there be goodness in
my children, let them know they are loved.
I kept waiting for the clue, then I thought
I solved it all with surrender, but decay lingers
in me like a tapeworm – I have known
nothing but withering and animals I loved who
are dead, corpses rotting underground in
places I see daily where summer plants
grow wild, up and over, but cannot cover the desert spot.
An angel lived with me. An angel is gone.
My lungs ache and I cannot stop
coughing and wondering if this is how I will
die – asleep on the old sofa, wrapped up
in the smell of my home like a shroud.
Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst
Published in “Outlaw Poetry” June 2017
You can listen to the poem by clicking below: