I Told You I Was Sick

The innocents all dress the same
Their mouths open
Their mouths close
They flush and bleed and wonder where they are
 
Happy to be leaving
Hesitant and
unprepared for the departure
w­­­­­hen it comes to them
like penicillin
 
Are you pinching yourself?
What I want 
and how I want it
That is what they told me
They were right
Skin is just like fabric
All violence
is in defense of something
 
I lay on my back and wish
I do that now
 
I wish for good things, all the good, good things
Why not
 
Fabric rolls out like a cloud of paint
A moan into a square of gauze
 
I don’t know
and so I write about it
 
I care about life
and the ones who never say a thing
 
We are in the hands of providence
who is unqualified
 
There are those who would protect us
from the possibility of good
 

Elaine Kahn, "I Told You I Was Sick." Copyright © 2018 Elaine Kahn. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow, a partnership between the Poetry Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network.
Source: PoetryNow (2018)
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