Old men on fourth-story balconies stare down at me,
Children pass by playing ball.
A mother takes in her plain tablecloth, frowning.
I will die
If before nightfall no one touches me.
There is a hospital in this town called Gli Incurabili,
They will take me there and lay me down on the bed like an ivory blade.
I will be pure as a virgin offering empty hands to Christ
And the world will throb beneath me like sea’s blue beneath its white.
Copyright © 2018 Monica Ferrell
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.