How Am I Doing, Really?
You do not want me to answer that,
for it would mean peeling back my skin
splitting open my chest bones,
revealing a heart that still beats
though it is half the size it once was.
It would mean sawing off the top of my skull
and shaking out pieces of my brain
which hardly functions right, left
are memories, the latest ones first,
like daguerreotypes nestled in a velvet lining,
you dead on the bed, your head to one side,
mouth open, an image that is with me always.
How am I doing, really? Really well
on the outside, so that everyone seeing me
murmurs, "So brave, so astonishing,"
while inside I am climbing onto that last bed,
spooning my body around yours,
and dying even more slowly than you did.