Worse
Limbs are lines—
bone marrow, harrowing
the salt of a palm

clasped

to a bitten lip;

near to worse,
the breath
knocked
out in
sputtering

shuttering
gasps, dangle
an eyeball,
a stranger finagle
than a silly little girl
howling at the moon

could get herself into;

and is this worse

am I
worse—?

Blood is a rose red
requiem; a shattered
window, the skin
off an elbow, the gelatin
of your inner thigh,

swollen nub,
the hemoglobin
raw and aching;

a sigh,
let the hollow quake of apprehension
evaporate, fizzle
like my blood pooling
in cold medical tubes,

watch the planes
take off

watch them land,

try to breathe

deeper, and deeper

imagine the swollen
limb is phantom, imagine
your mind out of yourself,

pretend bad news
is reassuring
in a clinically cruel sense,

the blackened twin of insight,
a scolding father in the dead of night when sleep is baying,

and not knowing
would always be worse.