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:: Caretaker by Jay Liveson ::

I've watched tendrils prod the potted clay,
awakened by a promised solar bath.
Each phoenix resurrected from its grave
flutters loose to shake a crust of ash.
It hesitates before its programmed path,
then, like a dervish twirling in frantic spasms,
attempts somehow to leap ethereal chasms.
I've watched the doctors probe your shriveling legs
trace fingers down your flesh. I fantasize
arms you used to wrap around my neck,
limbs you used to coil around my thighs.
I've watched doctors evade your olive eyes
choose latin words: "sclerosis" "disseminate"--
while you just try to move two useless weights.

Let me tend your withered frame, grown thin,
convince us both some function has returned.
Let me stroke your anesthetic skin
attempt to kindle passions that once burned.
We'll resurrect the lovers' roles we learned
together in the prison of our home.
We'll both pretend fresh tendrils prod the loam.

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