Yes I want water, and a tongue I can arch to hurry the water down, and thumbs I can stick in my ears, and fingers I can wiggle to praise the almighty, and hands I can ball into fists I can slam to the tray when you don’t hurry back with that water you promised. You stop to talk, because you can, to Nobody, about Nothing, while I wait, and dangle my Big Bird glass across the ward, with its too little water, too warm, too late, barely wet. You apologize with your eyes. My eyes forgive you back. My eyes say Keep the water, bring me legs I can kick and feet I can aim and I’ll open the walls, burst the plumbing, flood the ward, capsize the chairs and float the residents out to the street with their pointing-rods and their pill bottles bobbing like fishing tackle. I’m in here, you know. They run their tests on me and read their meters and tell you I don’t understand because they think you want them to, but when they go, I lock your eyes in mine and tell you what you can’t deny. I don’t forgive you, then. I lock you in my hopeless longing and beg. I make you laugh. I bellow my noises and flail my chicken wing arms. I make you laugh until you cry. You confess to me, then, and always have. What makes you think your secrets are safe with me? Nothing is safe with me. I tell everyone everything. Admit you know I’m in here, that’s my price. Wheel me out of here and I’ll live on pity and make the world feel good for it. Wheel me out of here once and for all and I’ll keep all your secrets forever.

Copyright ©1997-2006 David Hodges

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