You bring a stalk of bamboo
to the flu room.
Hot pink Buddha offers
some bullet-like pills from his plastic
fingers. Oh high above the pecan
tree, my dead grandfather
walks Basil and Maestro, our two
standard poodles. One’s beard is oily
from the wheel
of brie he’s stolen from
the kitchen counter.
The world works. Even from here.
I can hear the buzz
of machines, the clicks
of pens, the secretary’s
(bites the inside of her cheek),
the weird light of computer screens.
The world works wonders: the cashier at
Kmart rings up
another self-tanning lotion. She rings
up August, the ocean, a string
bikini on younger flesh. Nude on bronze.
The sand is piled high.
It makes a wave over the pecan tree.
Soon a tsunami will wash away the house, nursery.
Nothing left but a palm frond,
white long bone.
Goodbye dog, tree, grandfather
with your elk-tipped cane.
The world works
but not today. Not for me. Fever and the walls
painted with sharks and starfish.
There is so much aqua, histamine.
Buddha, bring me another
slice of pineapple.