blue hospital mask
[ This image is in the public domain. ]

She is waiting for me on the windowsill,
between ferns and the model DeSoto that Pops left.
She holds the convex curves of my face like
some loyal shell of a snail, blue and ribbed.

Her color fades pale green under sunlight,
revolving rays that rise and set over
a city shrinking, streets ruled by strutting pigeons.
In moonlight she wakes me with her eerie glow,
tells me we have work to do and I roll over.

Her puffed belly pregnant with stale breath
and sweat, plastic fibers sour in my nostrils.
Elastic arms hang limply over my ears.
Still she holds against the death that comes,
more every hour. It comes and she holds.

She bobs and sways with me on empty trains,
warms my face on windy walks toward home.
The door creaks and she settles on the sill,
fixes me with her blank stare, tells me:
This morning you are breathing.