His goldfish associate my ecru
cardigan with food. In water, flakes
form tiny islands, beaches where
summer hula-dances into a mouth.
The mermaid I gave him lies
beside a chest of sunken treasure;
half the paint on her eyes is gone.
Plastic seaweed sways with fins.
Beyond the aquarium, the room swims
a slow motion: the unread book and
sauce stains on pages 5-9, IV bags
that shrivel like his chapped lips.
We breathe silence and, on rare
days, hold hands. My prayers
underbreath carry his name. He calls
me Sylvia, sometimes Rosemary.
In his sleep, I am the woman next door
to Adjudicators Report
peering behind aquamarine blinds
as he starts the car. He is only
waiting for me to blow him a kiss.