Fall 1993 • Vol. XV No. 4 Science, Science Fiction and Poetry |

Nurse Waking

Because the dog's barking and I am home and the mail and the blue crocus and the sleep feeling. Because the dog's barking and I am home and waking and there's all silence but for the dog. Because the dog's still barking and I am not home, big blue halls and the black bay shining under moonlight. Because I can't find the barking dog and I'm not home and the chocolates are strewn across the countertop. Because the barking dog is not moving, I am moving, running and weaving around obstacles of wet sheets and steel commodes. With my shoulder rolled under I lean into the barking and the tight magnet of the swinging door to find one man kneeling naked, head where the feet go, blue-lipped and barking at TV hiss, biting at the sheet painted with frank blood and piss, backdropped by the bay, marble-grey and moving with the swing of light from the hallway. I say, "Don't bite me. Sit this way. Breathe into this." His barking turns to crying. I say it is OK.

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