I scrub her.  I wash her, lying in her bed.  I tell everyone I am scrubbing ghosts.
It is important to hide her, and hide from her the truth that no matter how loudly she can live, she will go unconsidered and unmarked until she is a ghost.  And so will I, in all likelihood.  I have conceded to this. It
does not feel like God.  Nor the devil, to be scrubbing away away.  Niether a demon, nor angel, or any other divine minion.  I only feel my own self - I feel my own blood. Scrubbing
away at what is hiding her blood.

I am starting to feel now
more securely away with
what I am storing
from you       and your

brown bear eyes
in constant stance
just enough dirt on the green
in your sight leaning
upwards to me from your pillow
that you could
dart your glance away, away
to escape        -- from most, but

me, I am here in your sickness
I was here for you on train platforms
summer infinite dream tighten string
listening, here for rain-
patterns who dragged you
through the floors of old life's
city blocks down to
muscular roots
and saw them
rip you
of your mind and even
almost your eyes
and I am still here

still ready,
with love and ready to see
how much we need to make up
the distance after love
and to show you      how not
to always
turn your glances
chameleon your way through sickness and
to show you
how to see
and when you do, it'll be you
seeing me
scrubbing you away, away

She was peckish.  And she was prickly.  Not the way she was at the concerts.  Except for the silence. And
always loveager.  We would stumble back into town the long way, advancing along the bent
splitting wood and uneven cobblestone by the docks.  I would whisle the motifs, and she would hum
the harmonies on top of me.  Some of it the music she's heard from the concert, some of it the music
she'd heard in her head.  We would lose, or fumble our pitches in our trips and mis-steps.  Discovering new
dips and bends.  New life pieces in our voices.  Including the giggles.  The glad, nervous giggles. The

glances like darts thrown. Toward and away and forward and together and away and home and away until
we stopped.  Until we could finally stand to suspend all our motion.  To stop walking, in the middle of the
cobblestone.  Turn and look at one another.  Whistle.  Hum.  Giggle.  breaking  We moved, toward one another.

I am constantly informed by
silence,     your room thickens
in the staleness of your recycled breaths
and dead skin cells cling
to bedsheets like seasonings
like flavors, aromas
you grew accustomed to before your body
was dead, dead and smoking

the body dreams no meadows,
nothing to receive, not a bartering father
to fight to find the number
to appease both landlord and the bodies
of his children who cannot hold themselves inward
as a circus but must push, must churn
as a parade - come lines, come feeding
the seasoned still and dead body whose mouth
is overtaken by the spoon I crane,
I am granting through your
exclusive entrance,
and all to silence

"I barely learned to hold you

I barely spoke your name"

when every day is a lock
when do you make time to search
from all its keys among the keys
of reason, keys like          rest
comfort     surviving      with
the skin inside your skin waiting
between sicknesses between folds between
time and control I am not what God
means I promise I am only
waste   control    I Scrub

away, shaking in gloves trying so desperate gentle to mar the scum from her ears and back
amongst the salt, amongst the one bed of shavings and squirming.

remembering times
that you could stand, and sing or
at least try
, and now me
with hovering, clicking brass bargains
between my fingers holding your eyes
like a rock and finally
understanding my lock I go

in gently and slowly towards her face.  The closer I get, the stronger she becomes.  The more still, eyes
set slowly, she even seems narrow.  Uncornered.  Awakened.  Softer, she stops darting her face, her glances
away.  I come closer.  She is nearly coming to meet me, in all death.  All the leaving that surrounds her.

She tells me

nothing, you hold all
your throat, you are a have-not
you are under, under fingers
running sickness through your hair
in keys in exits I am
the road upon which you travel
am here to keep you, warm and fed
stable and whole to lose like an egg
boiled just sitting ready to peel
I am here to give you
room I am here for
your room I am your

Room to maneuver surrendered.  I finally close the gap to hope.  To give her the holding of nights and songs
she can remember inside a person, whole.  In sickness and in loss of time and structure.  She is
navigable. Indifferent to all the treasures of the world, she is met.  My face bows down at the last
second.  I take her breath.  Some small pieces of moisture.  I give her my nose, pressed.  Quiet tender
against her nose.  I let her close her eyes.  I let her keep her mouth.  I reach, to a still and calm
poisoned tree with two hands.
  I scrub the agreeable ears away. Lying quiet in her bed.


-Dedicated with guilt and sympathy to any woman who has ever felt encaged by a strong, well-intended man.

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