Love is a basket of snakes
with a rose in the middle.
sway as if they were
love notes in a medium breeze.
no smile moves me.
Clocks are calm.
My bed in the ambulance bay rots sweetly.
You, child, appear with your flute
"There it is, that lovely basket woven
from beauty and perfection of motion."
You suppose me cold--oblivious
to my body's mosaic
of half-healed crescents
and their poultice of old poems, stupid with shock and palsy.