Dialysis by Dennis Hinrichsen

Blood wants an angel but all it has is Monday,
my mother

three states away,
left arm snaked and buttonholed

for dialysis.
What do they dream—mother

and blood—those long hours
churning?

Permeable membrane there same as here:
potassium expelled, magnesium,

wreckage of husband,
father.

What is collected: reverse Eden
in a jar.

Just five seconds ago I batted away a honey bee.
Now it’s back,

my kneecap sweet
as rhododendron.

The bee’s flight: long trail of zigging then on a rope
to the hive,

its news: nectar everywhere.
My mother purrs, I

purr in a drift
of consciousness—

blood spurting
in packets the size of a bee

or hanging
in those death-red capillarial nets—human torsos—

I saw once
polymered to nothingness.

We breathe, the ribs
expand,

the living lungs inflate.
That perverse museum—

she’s going to die,
I’ll have to watch—

like so much shaken pollen
I’ll need a trowel as wide as my hand

to get one clear cylinder of gold,
that thicket

of wild flower—her glory days—
soon coating my throat.

Throat wants to say something,
blood and honey,

it always does,
but it’s dead air now

inside the daylight.
Heat crowning scalp, bees in the yard

like weed fluff,
bands of silence.

Mother leaning back, idling,
but still pegged down.

Bees for an instant
hovering in the shape of a mouth.

Appears in Skin Music, Dennis Hinrichsen’s new collection
Published in the October 2015 Issue

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