The Poetry of Carolina Hospital
Summer has arrived.
The pickups pull up along the road,
beds full of mangoes,
the cardboard signs resting against the metal wall.
Across the street, Jorge's trees entice us,
their branches heavy with the dangling fruits.
I line up dozens on the kitchen counter,
so many, sometimes the orange crimson turns black
and the house fills with a pungent odor
like the one growing up,
on those cool shaded sidewalks
deep in dark slippery skins torn from the flesh.
I love to peel one after another
until my nails turn orange
and not even lime can remove the scent.
The pulp squeezes through my fingers
as I slice the thickness into the glass bowl.
Before I toss out the seed,
I close my eyes.
I suck at the remaining flesh,
the juices trickling down my chin,
I'm sure it's me
tasting the milk of paradise.
A Poem of Thanks
The phone awakens me.
Her voice so familiar calling me from sleep
becomes an aching chorus of angels
proclaiming I will be fine.
I do not tell her
that I have forgotten
how to use the future tense,
that what I want is to lie
still beneath the rains.
She calls me a survivor
but I know I have not been to the front
nor languored in a dark basement
nor a rancid cell.
Before the mirror what remains
is an echo of an infant's lips sucking
warm sweet milk
from a body that was once whole.
I look away.
I feel the darkness close around me.
It cannot be put out.
Then he enters, quietly.
He lights a small candle beside me.
He slowly combs the knots out of my tangled hands
and cleanses the scar across my broken breast.
My body grows limp like a dying child.
His grasp forms a circle around me.
I bind myself to him.
I invoke his name.
I find my reflection restored in his eyes
and I understand.
Human love cannot be measured
but in the depth of God.
Degas, After the Bath