William F Dougherty

(West Hartford, CT)

A Provisional. Revision B


[from The Crab Sonnets]

The fatigue is iron. Breath strains like pleas
as morphine slips down lucid tubes to ease
a snarl beneath the silver-staple line
frenzied for each dose of cloaking anodyne
to heal the salvaged gullet-stub, at least,
where the carcinoma had spumed like yeast,
but now the gliding nurses scratch on charts
the vital signs of heart—but not both hearts.

Like Ishmael escaped, I see the named
that assassin of cells seized and claimed,
and-indebted provisional of time-
defy it by some artifice or rhyme
as their revenants would, had they a page,
defy clawed malice with their marrow's rage.

Submitted: Wednesday, August 08, 2012

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