by Corinne Manning
Place in the Forest
Hospitals have a place here—your scent was made for them. I smell that saccharine spoiling on my fingers and know it’s you, gowned and sweating the sheet with the window open. Like this. The wind shakes the doors, like a knocking. We call come in, come in. Open it, you say, it sounds like knocking. You worry. The nurses are always coming in and as you ease syrupy in and out of sleep I watch-dog you. They prick twist tangle the chords that connect you to the little machines.
It’s beeping, I say, the blood’s been drawn. He’s nauseous hurry, no don’t spin that. He’s vomiting please. He’s holding the plastic kidney, his glasses are slipping from his face. Touch him, no, there. Yes. Wait, there’s been no food.
You wake and lines that crumple the crease of your neck spread and bulge. Tell them, you say. What? You press a button, a machine sighs with you. Because this isn’t prison and they call my name like it soon won’t be mine.
you. the wet
water pulls your hand to what’s left.
Corinne Manning received her MFA from UNC Wilmington and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College She's currently the writer-in-residence at the Hub City Writers Project.