kaddish

here,

put out your hands.
you want to get

clean.

every room in the hospital –
every doorway – leaves itself

            *

open here,

there is still skin and blood
and sinew underneath.

the heart monitor still beeps
its dirty promise.

            *

we are surfing the blood, now
don’t get lost.

            it’s a
tremendous amphitheater,
but

Oh,

what a rush.

            *

there is a limit to what the human mind can
wipe away, there is a

terminal velocity to the heart that’s crashing
through these sheets,

its sound coursing all the way down –
beyond you.

            *

we stay alive from the toes up, it seems. blue

            toes are a bad sign,
            you’ve never checked,
only felt the blank in the air as it stilled.

that was that and it didn’t even disturb the sheets.

            *

earlier today, the sky wrung itself out.

from the window, the branch and its finches are precise.

            *

we are surfing the hall now,
stay steady.

the thin breeze hits like a door to its own escape and
you

            are still here.

the sky is blameless, its palms are empty

            *
                        your body
                        without margin
                        washed through
                        by the white of the air

H. Lee Coakley (they/she) is a Queer, Non-Binary poet & nutritional healer currently based in Brooklyn, NY. They hold a BA from New York University & an MSPH from Johns Hopkins University. Their work has been featured in Lavender Review, Red Eft Review, Utterance, The Voices Project & The Mad Farmer Reading Series.

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