I think my lover’s cane is sexy. The way they walk
like a rainstorm stumbles slow across the landscape.
How, with fingers laced together, our boots & canes
click in time—unsteady rhythm of a metronome’s limp
wrist. All sway & swish, first person I ever saw walk with
a lisp. Call this our love language of unspokens:
We share so many symptoms, the first time we thought
to hyphenate our names was, playfully, to christen
ourselves a new disorder. We trade tips on medication,
on how to weather what prescriptions make you sick
to [maybe] make you well. We make toasts with
acetaminophen bought in bulk. Kiss in the airport
terminal through surgical masks. Rub the knots from
each others’ backs. We dangle FALL RISK bracelets
from our walls & call it decoration. We visit another
ER & call it a date. When we are sick, again, for months
—with a common illness that will not leave—it is not
the doctors who care for us. We make do ourselves.
At night, long after the sky has darkened-in—something
like a three-day-bruise, littered with satellites I keep
mistaking for stars—our bodies are fever-sweat stitched.
A chimera. Shadow-puppet of our lust. Bones bowed into
a new beast [with two backs, six legs of metal & flesh &
carbon fiber]. Beside my love, I find I can’t remember
any prayers so I whisper the names of our medications
like the names of saints. Orange bottles scattered around
the mattress like unlit candles in the dark.
Copyright © 2022 by torrin a. greathouse. Reprinted with the permission of the poet.