Mad Kings

stars in the trees1
By Alisha Attella

Look at you,
so regal, high
in your pillow throne.
I expect to see
heavy gold rings
slipping down to the knuckle
of your buttery-finger-bones.
Jewels catching the light
as placeholders for
your sapphire eyes
that got milked over
in a morphine haze.

They’re telescoping you
to wherever you’re resting
while pneumatic wheezes
ripple glass-lung swamps;
but you never fall back,
artificially lifted and dropped.
Supported by your gleaming
aluminum tube carriage
and spun by nylon puck wheels
to see the sun, then the TV,
the kitchen, then the dark

You’ll never run again
on your own power
So you fill up the bedpan tank
to get things moving
and you whisper go-aways
in my ear, sure that I’m
smoking too close to the sign,
and we can’t run if they catch me,
not with the sheets tangled
between your Auschwitz knees.

I sit back and watch
your lips move, I listen
for the whispers and rattles
half wishing for them to stop
and all at once I understand
the rotten secrets of the grieved
and close my eyes, so tempted
to pull the keystone pillow that will let you fall
and give over to the death of Mad Kings.

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