in a flash

i saw the lights flashing behind my eyes
sharp pain flowing through eyes and ears into my brain

and then darkness fell into hours and into days
the darkness of a disease that hunts me, hounds me, dogs me

to wake up days later in a strange room in backwards clothes
not sure who i was nor able to speak

juice in boxes with tiny straws on white plastic trays
nurses with flower patterns on their scrubs like wallpaper

part of my tongue missing, purple lips, bruised face
more tubes than my tenth grade chemistry class

beautiful frightened eyes in the room smiling now over at me
she could have married a real man, a whole man, a functioning man

i’m ashamed to look at her looking at me so lovingly
body aching like every muscle had been tasered

and I deserve it

[september, 1999]

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