In your last week, when they say you might stop eating, you eat
twenty seven watermelons whole. The brothers ogle:
pink juice parsing the lines of your face and depositing
carbuncles, sugar gems on your cracked lips and chin,
like the starched stars that web across summer fruit rinds.
The hospice halls heavy and cloying with jasmine and rose.
We are immersed. After lights-out, the sisters sneak
from the guest room, both drunk on perfume more viscous
than honey. Their shoes syrup-stick to the floor before
they reach your bed. They sway, sick with the brilliant scent.
Morning sickness wakes the mother, hot sleep wicking down
the hard sphere of her belly. A blue votive flame
draws her to eyes to the phone at her bedside, the number
unknown, cool voice calling for warmth just as you
signal sounds like her name in your tapering sleep.
Rebecca Salazar is the author of Guzzle (Anstruther), and an editor for The Fiddlehead and icehouse poetry. Her poetry appears in Prism, Minola Review, and Cosmonauts Avenue, and her non-fiction in The Puritan and Partisan Magazine. Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, she is currently a PhD candidate and Vanier scholar in New Brunswick.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan