letter to my twin brother a few weeks
before our parents win the lawsuit against me
to keep his body alive on machines
This poem is part of a series exploring the complicated nature of grief. It uses slashes rather than traditional line breaks to create space, to cause the reader to stutter along with the speaker as she attempts to articulate, as well as to symbolize the divisions within the poem: natural & artificial spaces, biological & mechanical machinery, the physical body & the animate self.
carmine domino of sun scraping through clouds / white sound / high-oxygen smell / blood in the catheter / slash of laughter / snatched / from someone / else’s life / as they / pass in the hall
I dream / you are made of water / your tongue aqueous/ your body pools / into the sheets / I scald your arms / meat pink / wash the old cells / crusting your new shell / drain the sponge / in the industrial-metal sink / none of the nurses’ chatter
yellow whistle of fluorescent light trembling awake / backache / pee break / sigh of green vinyl / as my spine / unfolds / from the chair / sweet stink of gray protein / easing down / a feeding tube
I dream / you are a kite / the tide / paper bird / bicycle / you are a verb / waiting to be invited / into a body / you are a body / waiting to be
mauve scythe of moon bruising our eyes / rattled-popcorn breath / dry shampoo smell / covered by disinfectant / sterile cotton / black blood clot
I dream / you are a river / you waterfall into / a body / of light / nobody / blinks / when you blink / I stop thinking / of your body / as you
Kimberly Glanzman’s poetry and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in The Baltimore Review, Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Iron Horse, Electric Lit, North Dakota Review, Barely South, and Whale Road Review, among others.