word poem:\\facies

facies: facial expression characteristic of a specific medical condition; portion of a rock or rock formation with a distinct appearance.   

The Code

Comes a moment I know and they
don’t. Before I pronounce words
that will transform their facies.

A wife sits frozen for seven hours,
doesn’t leave, pee, read, speak, watch TV,
barely disperses sweaty fingerprints
on flipped pages of Homes and Gardens.
A son paces, a granddaughter besieges
the volunteer, demands to know what is going on.

I’ve been trained sleepless to open
abdomens and stitch pudendas,
to seize and study pus, blood, urine,
bile. I have punched sternums
with firm bone-breaking thumps.
I know failure heaped upon failure
—heart, lungs, kidneys—
does not add up to survival.

I suffer coded fury—you force me to break these bones—
even as I pray for the grace to feel something for their loss.

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2 Responses to word poem:\\facies

  1. Powerful beautiful. disturbing in just the right way. thank you.

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