POETRY

The Honeymoon

By

Dr. Jaroslava Moserova

Even as we transfer him from the gurney to a bed,
try two, three, six times to insert a catheter,
sweat under heating lamps, dress his wounds,
and wrap him in sterile blankets, we know
why he did it. Everyone does.

Within hours, flowers arrive, and letters.
People on their way home from work gather outside.
He's awake, and he's lucid, though his face
is double its normal size and shiny, as if
pressed into plastic wrap. He whispers over and over,
"There will be others." He falls asleep.

I explain to his mother why she can't touch her son.
When she sees him, she collapses. She doesn't know
this is called the honeymoon phase. She doesn't realize
right now is the best of what time he has left.
But he does. He refuses a morphine drip because
he needs to think. Downstairs, two secret agents
pace in the lobby. The crowd grows outside. We wait.

When it happens, he'll drown in himself.

Elizabeth Onusko’s poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in 42opus, burntdistrict, The Collagist, Verse Daily, Poetry East, and Bellevue Literary Review, among others. Her chapbook, The Prague Winter, is available from Finishing Line Press.

Even as we transfer him from the gurney to a bed,
try two, three, six times to insert a catheter,
sweat under heating lamps, dress his wounds,
and wrap him in sterile blankets, we know
why he did it.