portion of the artwork for Lorrie Ness's poetry

Mirror Images
Lorrie Ness

I found you dozing in room 2132.
Swaddled in a chrysalis of blankets.

Legs so swollen,
your compression socks looked like pythons
swallowing salami.

I can hardly reconcile
the phone call we had yesterday.

How your mouth was wrapped around your voice
like an amphitheater. Broadcasting
volume and health.

And now you are empty. As if through talking,

you pressed the accelerator, chasing hits of energy
till your body shuddered
and came to a stop.

Today the nurses have wrapped you in a cocoon,
sky blue as the day we moved.
I think about that day—

As I watch you pupate inside your bundle,
it reminds me how our sleeping bags were a row of caterpillars
on the bare floor.

How our naked house,
empty and anorexic, was in need of something soft.

Like your body eaten through to the bones,
now begs for the touch
of fleece.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 54 | Fall/Winter 2019