Lion, Pride

My second night in the hospital
I woke to your face
Grizzlies cap forward, for once,
anvil eyes, a plummet of noiseless hope
as you took in the sight of me
your heavyhearted hands cradled
a ceramic square of bamboo
for the luck I seemed to gather
and spill
at alarming speeds

(I would return the favour in two years time,
two green stalks in the cafe centre vase, your last-minute
engagement, an assembly of confetti
from an emptying chest)

I twisted, itching in my cardboard gown
we took turns breathing into the cylinder of fear
between our dandelion chests
laughed about how, every six hours,
a resident would flutter in with my bloodwork
a spiral of wide-eyed third years, pens en garde,
notebooks out at the altar
of this fluorescent-lit safari glass

Bleeding internally for three days — but just look!
Blood pressure, an even path!
Heart rate, near-perfect!
It’s as if her body didn’t know its own crisis.

We are twinned, you and I
phantom fraternal
carried by the switchhearts of giving women
the symmetry of our stories splitting, splitting
open

the doctors are confused by your every thing
how you speak in x-ray
and move in math,
electric eel speed of thought encased in
an aquarium of composure,
steady hands pointing out the map of your shorting circuits
naming every tempest you live in the eye of,
kingdom to
class to
uneven atom

you are the lion, brother
lost among the pride

When the nurse asks who she’s speaking with
I have to stop myself from saying sister
and I am reminded of how mornings are not gifted
triggerless to the masses, but that this day
like each one before
is a rising sign, pushing my unready blue spirit
noiseless, into the light.

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