in a black wool skirt
splashed across with koi;
red fins, white bellies,
swimming in the creases
as she moves.
The skirt is from a tiny shop
in France; she says this sadly,
knowing she cannot satisfy
my craving for koi
beneath my own fingers,
in friendly wool.
I pass Fiona Sampson’s ‘Orpheus Variation’,
and travel up the long tube
to the topmost floor,
which tucks me away
from apheresis, and other humans,
and I swim
into the closed wards of the infected,
the diseased, worming in to join
the dark night of our souls.
But when the blood moon draws closer,
and blue Monday arrives, I arise
and begin to shed the creature that holds sway;
small sheddings are small victories, these days.
©Shaista Tayabali, 2019
participating in Dverse Poets Pub
(I thought about tacking on a different ending because the hospital did let me out, but only to reveal the next morning that they had found the bacterial culprit, so I haven’t swum to freedom yet. I have a cannula in me and nurses arrive daily to my house to administer antibiotics through a drip they set up. Something is being shed, I have to believe, or else the dark nights will claim me again...)