In one swig I swallowed his words whole-
A solid, green pill...
Manufactured by the boy's indifferent hands
Wearing thin, powdered gloves
Stretched over coarsely configured fingers-
Over all warmth and tenderness
Of a lover's human touch.
He put on the gloves to prescribe doses of
Poison- to creatures with little left to give.
A table's freshly pulled paper ruffled and creased
As I made ready to medicate my soul...
He wore the gloves when congenial love turned ill-
And all other over-the-counter tricks
Were remiss to dissolve.
Animal sketches that bordered the enclosure
Brought so mild a laugh to my throat benumbed-
Their animated eyes watchful with wild intensity
Through the plastered, paper mache' wires.
Then with no anticipated invitation
Salty drops rolled their way down my neck,
Hardening out of a trusting formation.
I waited for the needle's point to prick away-
Extracting blood that boiled so hotly for his touch,
Puncturing every delicate kiss that weakened
This organ's very conscience.
He whispered under the scope, "Breath slow,
In on one, out on three..."
And I did well in my breathing.
I did well in pretending.