Turned on Stryker bed dreams, blood wells[break]purple in each bruise; gauze stockings[break]cover both calves and toes; starched gown[break]bites the back.

Nose up, head arched, held in metal[break]halter hung with weights, thirty pounds[break]three black weights to pull pincered head,[break]shaved skull back.

Body strapped to pulsating bed,[break]whoo-oosh, whoo-oosh; chin, skull and eyes[break]yank l-2-3-flip as they turn[break] front to back.

No more white tile pinhole count, nor[break]ceiling sun, day for the spinning[break]body; now black tile floor swirls night,[break]sole struggle to sleep.

Three hours back; one hour front; flipped[break]twelve times a day, six revolutions[break]round this small planet: three black weights,[break]white square universe.

Night comes six times a day to this[break]spiraling world, till deep vortex[break]recedes, orbit steadies, and night[break]again comes once a day.

Waking, I watch your body yanked[break]and flipped; dizzy, I stare at your[break]unblonde head silenced by halo,[break]fear encircling me too.

Trembling, I mourn certain loss[break]of myself, cannot offer comfort,[break]kind words, some God, having no sure[break]axis on which to turn.

For C.K.

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