The Diagnosis; The Wait; A Word

The Diagnosis
A cave, deep inside, animals painted with
their own blood, until I woke and sat again
across from the sofa, lights at foot

and head over waves of blue cushions with
poppies, damask roses, heart’s ease, grapevines,
a veritable paradise, a lost world, and along

the sofa back small Indian cushions with tendrils
and arabesques, inlaid mirrors that watch as I watch
where she will sit, reading, legs drawn up, while

I try to rest my mind in the nest she makes, pretend
to read, in fact watching as she reads, looking over
at me when she thinks I am not looking, checking

if I am still carrying myself like a thin glass bowl while
outside frost like anguish pushes up great clods,
stones, sticks, roots embedded, gripped so tight

it hurts, can’t breathe and among those blue billows
I see again the Blue Whale who lost control
of his own body, entered the killing zone and beached,

died there vena cava to crawl through, aorta you could
lodge in, heart “the size of a deflated swimming pool,”
which they “excavated” and hauled off in a front-loader,

“freeing” it, replace its fluids with silicone polymers,
“plastinates” for the museum, there forever as something
else in a blank ocean.