5. The Fluid Imagination

What he does not remember,
almost everything, after the fever and the trembling,
a temblor of the body. Apparently he was funny,
babbling in the emergency room, but has a clear
recollection of the ambulance, the city
falling away through the narrow back windows.
There were desert landscapes that undulated
in his consciousness like woozy special effects,
and he roamed through this surreal scenery, seeing
animals that might be fierce or welcoming,
he wasn’t sure, but he was not frightened.
They were not like any animals he recognized.
Such pleasure in giving himself over
to the fluid imagination where any life form might arise“Do you remember the first night you came
to my apartment you brought Rumicube
with you so that we’d have something to do
and then we were kissing on the couch?”
Caroline answers that she still wants to play
and promises to bring it to the hospital.

I walk along the pathway by the river
watching for you to bloom among Hawthorns,
to arrive because I want you to arrive,
as if the natural world might organize itself
according to my desires, my mind and the world
Caroline, creation of the landscape,
emerges from the desert in a white flowing gown,
takes form from blowing sand in wavering
desert heat, unnatural flowering.
“Were you at the hospital?”
“Yes. Remember? We were eating tacos.”

Chemo on my brain.
Doctor, doctor, you better come quick.
This old chemo is making me sick.

Elena’s plane lands as the ambulance
is transporting David to the hospital.

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