Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning
in the ward, it’s deceptively quiet: a last
gasp, draining of color, a hand that travels
the valley between the bed and the body.
Waiting for what to happen, I see
the wound, again, open in the water
to swallow him. Is it that the lungs
fill up with water when one goes under?
No. It’s the larynx trying to protect itself
that kills, closes up. He does nothing
but lie there, fed by a highway of tubes,
a cloverleaf interchange, all of it running
into him, the silver vein drawing up his arm
to the point of the lance. I want back in
the world I know. Because skin needs cuts
before it heals, let him hammer me
with the dark’s cool machinery—
the unknowable, what works
against the body—into that rendering.