6. Everything is Watching

the sickness of uncertainty

How abundantly afflicted he is,
what’s swelling inside into a form
like biscuits in the oven
the kind that grandma used to make on the farm.
An enormous elm swallows the window of the asylum,
enlarged testicles elephantiasis of the erotic self,
a catheter bag strapped to his leg,
twenty minutes on the cross trainer.
Does the healthy body become the sick body
or are they different things,
as spring does not become summer but is different
or as life does not become death.
He’s never had balls like this, the girth of lemons,
soon the nurse will come and hook him up
the antibiotic flowing through the PICC line
into the superior vena cava at the heart of his body where the blood races
like the swift rivers of the mountains toward falling.
Little bionic polyps in his upper arm,
one for chemo and one for this super drug that kills everything
except the bug that needs to die.
Piss in the bag strapped to his leg yellow today as the sun
was last week when his piss was cherry cola,
reminding him of a song about champagne
that tastes just like cherry cola and a man named Lola,
L-O-L-A Lo Lo Lo Lola.
Caroline in the corner of his grim cell reading Lolita.
He picks up Proust again.
we try to discover in things, . . .
the reflection of what our soul has projected on to them
Absently pulling clumps of white hair from his balding head
and setting them to drift on the breeze from the open window
as the great elm comes forward on little elm feet
and peers compassionately in,
and even in the dark it is all perfectly clear:
do you not know that everything is watching.

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