Copper and tongue.
10.14.17 – Nursed
You too had been laid down and asked to take further rest. We spared each other wasted breaths and the words between that day by mastering silence and seeking to see through the walls at our prone ends. They stood sheets at our sides and called it a stroke of privacy. Feet still shuffled in and out of view and made those wanderers voiced ghosts who came to call but never crossed the linen lines. Our course was only to lay and forget the life spilling onto the hard stone floors, some from us, and some from the others stationed behind their own simple screens.
You heard stories from your growing grave; narratives made from whispers and howls that cut through the quiet room and passed easily beyond the thin and wavering walls. They weren’t always complete, a dishonest narrator calling out to an unknown audience and not really believing they were heard. They’d offer only the most present of feelings and bless their condition with a numbered sense of pain and discomfort. It wore you down to listen in the night of these troubled auto-biographies and the suffering they detailed, sleep might have been better, but the shouts carried through dawn.
The bluebirds came and went, stealing the rasps and coughs of neighbors, shushing the taxed, and carting off the ones being unmade. You’d still be uneasy thinking about what’s worsening on the far side of the curtains. I didn’t wait with you but you told me of your evening in that holding; how the weary and wounded rolled in and out just beyond view and they left their fears strung up around the room with whatever senses were still working. Your telling was part of the recovery, the piece of your story that you didn’t air in that cold hall but held until you were in fond company and could let your woes be caught.