Hospital Bed in Early December Woods

Cori A. Winrock

How many times can we talk about beds as boats
before the wreck becomes less? Because I know

you not as a lover loves, I know it was me who replaced
your backless gown—let myself let myself see: body. Undressed

you into a men’s crisp work-a-day shirt. You, simple button
down: still filmesque in morning

-after wear. I remember there was no sense
of rush. Embroidering your initials as tight stitches

in the cuffs: black threads to net you
to the woods, to particulars, to this cove

of known trees. I called out the family names
for each of us, whittled a heart into

the burls: reckoned future distances in precision-
planed knots and cross-sections.

How many times can I wreck myself
in the bed of some other before

my own talking will become a boat?
Even as I keep forgetting every thing, I know

it was not me that left
your feet dangling, embedded in wet

leaves—in this not-thaw because before-frost.
Your face was tipped away, already. I remember I held that:

my inherited hand near the bed’s edge. Wrung the sheet’s ends
soaked in mud. Again. How many times?

Each time I stumble into this moment I try to stay

inaudible like I don’t want to
wake you, but this isn’t sleeping. I won’t wake

any moment either. You are simply that—:
I found this clearing. I dressed you. I did not dress you

as when-fall-gets-winter. Instead I prepared the almost
snow for the terrible humming

of spring, then summer. Gave it your frame.
Let the trees grow their years in rings.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.