The Delivery

Sometimes a breath is all you can take
and breathing all you can do
watching the line-up of mid-day cartoons
in hospital rooms
watching the improvisation
of silent movie nurses entering and leaving
giving instructions in water and shaved ice
and breathing always breathing
and listening for the soft ticking bomb
as doctors polish quiet floors
with shoes that always walk away
and with my face deepening in unexpected
maturity (my youth slipping off like a hospital gown)
with machines harmonizing in cardiac rhythm
and feet and fingers too
speaking and pulling
shaking and pushing
shoving and coming
slipping through hands
with the fragrance of fresh earth
wet with anonymous zeal
you arrived in this half-solemn room
announcing your flesh with an unrehearsed cry
and an unspoken giggle of breathless ambition.

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