Louisiana Street

I wake to a dusky 6:00 a.m. screaming woman
alarming me to the break of a new day.
Her voice stretched and taut with rage,
her children crying long exasperated sounds
of loneliness and defeat.
Should I thank her? The voice that carries me
from the comfort of dreams to a place between sleep
and something I can’t remember.
Another scream. This one is full of holes and cracks.

Blue grayness fogs our room through morning light.
Holding your visit in my mind, turning it over,
revisiting it with eyes closed so all images return,
still fresh, red, vivid.
I pull him closer, wrap myself around his tense
unresponsive and exhausted body, listening
to his breath, as he labors under the weight
of carefully dispensed drugs.

Watching his face close around sleep,
unconscious moans evaporating into the
air, a deep ache twists from my neck
all the way down my spine, day-after-day,
waiting for the word.
The blood that flows each month is slow,
not wanting to move, exit, release.
An impulse to hold-on is everywhere
so we wait for the insurance company
to give the go-ahead.