July 2006/Volume Seven/Issue Two
Andrew Aulino
The Long Wait

As if it weren’t dark enough in your abdomen already,
the wool blanket falls as night on a forest
starting west at your thighs until your neck and chest are hidden.

A hospital bed must’ve been bad enough
with the natural danger fastened by
the safety of intubation and long needles to irrigate your veins.

But you have to be an old woodsman
to go it alone in your own bedroom
where you can listen into the obscure cavities
for metastasis?—mycosis?—mydriasis? --

whatever the doctor thinks is
grunting and sniffing in you and snapping
something mysterious with its paw,
maybe fallen twigs in the lower intenstine
and look nonchalantly when you hear it.

You can belch into the hot sheet and sweat it through
not wondering where the sound comes from. You can
lay still knowing that you're sharing something that isn't yours.