I am having some MAJOR writer's block lately, guys. I don't know what it is, but I can't seem to come up with anything good. I sat in the waiting room of Boyd Tire Company (waiting on my van and its new shiny, round tires) reading Great Expectations and wondering why I couldn't write anything lately. Of course, Lish might be right: Dickens sucks out your creative soul. I'm still experimenting.
Anyway, this is today's piece. I was thinking of my sister as I wrote it. I hope you enjoy it.
PATIENT IN ROOM 135
He swings his arm out
to punch me in the jaw
as I stand over him feeling his pulse.
The drugs he can no longer have
are still speaking in the folds of his brain
still wiggling inside his muscles.
He smells of old pumpkin
and I combed a spider from his beard last night.
I am quicker than he is now, clean
but he says the smell of cotton
drives him insane. And someone keeps whispering
to him don’t let the devil’s daughter touch you.
He misses. I tell him my father is a laborer
in Washington state. Not a perfect man
but definitely not the devil.
He asks where my mother is
and falls asleep before I can finish telling him
she is living beside a beautiful lake now
watching wrens build their summer nests.
If I could only pray when a candle was nearby
my heart would wither like a cut rose.