Men in orange vests jackhammer craters
into the street. Watch, O Lord, with those
who wake or watch or weep tonight

Backhoe for the curb. Take out old pipe
that might form a seam and release its gases
under the street. I wore a gown for three weeks.

The pus dripped out of me in tubes.
Give your angels charge over those who sleep.
The click-rush of the IV pump.

Dear comforter of the troubled,
alleviate our worry
. What thrives after antibiotics:
yeast colonizing my mouth.

What’s gone: red blood cells, muscle tone,
a month. Give us the grace and strength to accept
this burden
. My sewn-back-together navel.

Fibrous cords inside still tethering
this to that: adhesion. Scar tissue
that wants to help but pulls, a sudden

punch to the gut. Turn your gaze from me
that I might find respite
. Still I am tattooed
with the gray marks of hospital tape

though my arm is flammable with polish remover
and my fingers cramped from picking.
Restore your servant to health again.

Temporary plates for the cars to clank over.
Then, cement clots and sutures up the street.
A man removes the orange cones.

Copyright the author(s) ©2007–2013