What Does Your Seeing Want?

Your scrunched eye seizes, sizes
me up: pulley-roped palliatives, craft and lies.
Washing my hands in the back, I wonder:
what's a good death?
Of course you held on and I held on to you.
We had married ourselves to a trance.


Copyright © 2017 by Joan Houlihan. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 25, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem is part of an elegiac book-length sequence called Shadow-feast. The poem enacts the thoughts of a caregiver in the presence of a terminal illness.”
—Joan Houlihan