Nursing Home

By Edward Butscher

Another dangling connection

another guttural whisper

nears the lip of hysteria

of her unsure being


as I wake, again drenched,

from adolescence’s dream

of the island girl in jeans

too lean by far, but lush

as that Ukrainian skater


simulating foreplay’s coy

pouts and poses and painted

fingers and mouth, licking

hair from cheeks and chest

swallowing strawberrys

in a single giggling gulp.


“My apartment! My apartment!”


A naked radiator whistled

in the Smart Street apartment

where a mother’s waxing breast

launched another’s moon ride.


I see myself in the fright

of paranoid eyes so wide

they multiply childhood’s

appetite for immortality.


“They are stealing our home!”


She laps at me like a cat

atop an unexpected fetus

tonguing broken leg veins


to the scar near my heart

where three roads converge

when my ribcage collapses

into pick-up sticks


the throat of silence loud

as an unseen universe’s

wheezing black holes.



Edward Butscher is the author of first biographies of Sylvia Plath and Conrad Aiken, as well as shorter books on Adelaide Crapsey and Peter Wild, much criticism, and several books of poems, most recently, Eros Descending.

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