It wasn’t his body but a shell containing
ten years of indiscretions mistaken for love.
He laid in the hospital bed every other month
like a rotting seed pod, hollow and rattling,
a specimen poked and stuck with the mercy of clinical trials,
His eyes, slits or slots, open long enough
to see another yellow swab stuffed into the bin;
awake long enough to hear the hushed mumbling
of doctor to nurse each time wondering if they
were discussing his cell count or the weather;
Was it cloudy or just the darkness of the sun
muted through tinted glass?
His frame so thin when he coughed his chest
caved more than heaved, and weren’t we lucky
to find a good vein today?
The slots closed once again, the pod folded,
the stemmed head crushed, dropped to the dirt
waiting for rain.
Carly Bryson lives in Houston, Tx and writes poetry and prose dealing with social and political topics and the dynamics of being human. She has some work published in a few journals, most recently Calliope Nerve.