Nursing Home

By Edward Butscher

Another hanging connection,

another gutteral whisper

near the lip of hysteria

above the tidal suction

of her unsure being


as I wake, again drenched,

from adolescence’s dream

of the island girl in jeans

a paradox of lean and lush

like that Ukrainian skater


simulating foreplay’s coy

pouts and poses and painted

fingers and mouths, licking

hair from cheeks and chest

swallowing strawberries

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 sly fright

of paranoid eyes so wide

they multiply childhood’s

appetite for immortality.


“They’re 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 a ribcage collapses

into thrown pick-up sticks


the throat of silence loud

as a hidden universe’s

wheezing black holes.


Poet, critic, and literary biographer, Edward Butscher resides with his wife, Paula Trachtman, in Greenport, Long Island. His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies since 1976. Collections of his poetry include Poems About SilenceAmagansett Cycle, and Child in the House. His biography Sylvia Path: Method and Madness, was the first of that poet, and Conrad Aiken: Poet of White Horse Vale won the Melville Kane Award from the Poetry Society of America.

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