Let him sleep right through it—
thin syringe, everlasting injection.
Then let it hang
like an old wool sock in a closet.
Let him wake like a child
from night terror,
clatter down the stairs,
rush to the toilet
reach for himself with shaking
thumb and forefinger
around the soft base of the shaft.
Let him not even sense the warmth
of urine as it leaves him.
Let him feel like he’s touching
a soft dead bird
in that gray bathroom light.
Let him hunger for his hunger
the rest of his life.
Sally Bliumis-Dunn teaches modern poetry at Manhattanville College. In 2002, she was a finalist for theNimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize. Her poems have been published in The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day series, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry London,The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, and the Writer’s Almanac, among others. In 2008, she was asked to read in the Love Poems program at the Library of Congress. Her first book, Talking Underwater, was published in 2007 by Wind Publications. Her second book,Second Skin, was published by Wind Publications in 2010.