Every Night

by Lisa Nelson Raabe

He attaches himself to the device overnight
7 hours with 1/2 hour prep and 45 minute clean up
roughly an 8 hour shift
every night
no holidays or personal time off
exactly 8.25 hours x 7 nights a week
52 weeks a year
and at this point x 2

in between
no coffee
no tea
no alcohol and no, and no to
a bit of the joy and the pushing into
the lifting up of edges and contrasts

He is still he
a bit less and a bit more
a bit of just this, just now
He is
that’s the point
and because

He now with the loss of function
of fluid flow
of discrimination and separation
of kidney-homeo-stasis

He is a connection to the machine
and after 104 weeks x 7
of 2 liters x 728 nights
of 1,456 liters and 6,022.5 hrs or so
there is a certain rhythm to it

a certain cadence to the pulsing and whir
a certain continence in box by box
the yellow tape removed
the plastic case of Dialysate becoming
the resulting refuse of regeneration

the hundreds of liters
and thousands of hours
an infusion of life
exchanging the used
for the about to be

an ocean of so far so good
a lilting of letting go
an ebb and flow of acceptance
buoyed up by the sea of being
resting deeply within himself

back to University & College Poetry Prizes