This time it was a mild case:
fluctuating chills and fever,
swollen eyes, nose spouting mucus
into tissue balls. What it wants:
another warm body under chin-tucked
covers. What it gets: citrus and rest.
But I’ve seen it worse: this heart of mine—
unrecognizable—attacking itself like Lupus.
It comes home after every relapse, crumples
into the childhood bed strung out
on the last high. How can I forgive it again,
after I’ve scrubbed the stench of its vomit
from the bathroom floor, after I’ve slept
beside the hospital bed listening to the hiss
of machines breathing all night, after it’s exposed
in the harsh truth of daylight—bruised and black,
almost broken, never to be undamaged again?
~Pamela Taylor © 2013