You could see that she was caught
but wanted no escape, the way she tapped
her chest and refused the hammock chair

that fought her body’s need to be alert,
and looked at the foothills where night herons
woke and flew, and checked her watch to time

the morphine shots for her brother
in the hospice bed just beyond the porch.
She thought of a cartoon character shot

by a cannon and the light shining through.
She wanted that for everything, for the
question on his silent face and the tumor

where his neck and shoulder used to meet.
No comfort in the punctual appearance
of stars, none in her provision of comfort,

she wanted the opposite of time, the sum
of moments when nothing mattered.
And she wanted, but knew, there wasn’t oneness,

no miraculous circle, no rhythm or return,
just the illusion of trees gone blue
in the dark and the skelter of bats

from nothing but hunger and this need
to collect: his cold hands,
his last night, his breath leaking into the grass.