The Disease

Black winter
            casts a cold net
                        over our bedroom

Our old greyhound dreams
            his cloudy eyes moving
            like frantic birds
                        beneath his paper eyelids

I watch you as you trudge
            into our oversized bed
                        your body weary and spent

I dream of the days, years ago
            when we spent more time
            naked then clothed
                        and suddenly I feel tired
                        and old

Our eager mattress
            pushes me close to your vast body
                        velvet blankets
                        warm pillows

My breath stops
            inside me

Your hands
            unsheathe me

The blade of your love
            slices open my chest and belly
                        breastbone splitting
                        like two stone white wings

My womb of ghosts
            clotted blood, congealed cysts
            bloated fibroids and sticky lesions
                        spill out

There on the gray sheets between us
            like a midnight kill

You can’t contain your wonder
            You believe
            my bent body
            and damaged organs
                        are beautiful, glowing

While I question
            are they, still?

Katie Gleason is a social worker, counselor, poet and teacher living in Arizona. She is Master student of and workshop teacher for The Writers Studio Tucson. Her work has appeared in Gnarled Oak and O-Dark-Thirty, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now inhabits the desert with her husband and two greyhounds.

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