You. I sensed you in the sweet vulgar smell
of new Buicks, English Leather, and walls
of apartments just painted white, dying
for pictures, permanence, wives, or if you
were in a big bucks ripe mood to needle
me, fresh stains from a waterpistol fight.

Necessary nostalgia for your fight
now: locked into plastic chemical smell,
frowning and gray whale fat with a needle
punched into your dripping arm vein, the walls
of pale green ice and abstract prints leave you
sweating steel beads, snoring, but not dying.

MS won’t slit your throat, but you’re dying
to die, to lie still, unpained. The good fight
gone from your hollow spent bones, lazy you
drift through soap operas, sponge baths, the smell
of starched nurses, clocks, collapsible walls,
and that hissing silver getwell needle.

(Father: cortisone king junkie needle
armed dullfleshed man sexless hope dead dying
cold hospital crying blue in green walls
alone blue all blues got to got to fight
can’t walk no wife no friends I know please smell
these pink pink roses opening for you.)

Sclerotic, chocolate smeared, checkbook poor you:
a baby in a big crib—the needle
pacifying cracked nerves which ooze and smell
like despair—whimpering but not dying,
whipping me, splitting me open (I fight
like mad) by closing your eyes into walls.

No shrink-wrapped wrecking ball could smash those walls
of rotten days and years, impacted you,
so thick with fear and regret. Too bad. Fight
now for my world of Sundays, dad. Needle
me witty and sharp till I’m so dying
with laughter I forget this bad scare smell.

I fight your slow sadness with no needle.
You stare hard into the hug of drugged walls.
I smell old doctors who can’t see dying.