By: Andrew Eaton
When a body swells with what it cannot hold
buoyed in flesh, laid out on a table, logged
and bloated past all recognition, so smooth
every feature disappears and the skin won’t ripple,
you want to pierce it, cut it free from its afflictions,
lock a goat bone in the yellowed teeth,
palm-mute the mouth so guards won’t hear, and drain
a mucus trickle from the limbs; say, There.
Mosquitoes fat as jack rabbits bounce
into your life and do not leave, whirring
a cloud of hunger through the camp, the heads
so charged with biting you’d starve them out.
When the man Temple spent some months inside
the wooden hospital
starved and young––what was he? eighteen?––
I would go in and lift him onto my back.
We would walk around the camp so he could see
––if nothing else––a warm gauze of sunlight.
iv. His Will
He wasn’t sick, but he laid on a sick bed
while his eyes were going grey
as a port whose last ships slip the bay,
a brother watching as they blur in the long smoke.
Andrew Deloss Eaton was born in California and lives with his wife in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His poems appear in Crab Orchard Review, Magma, Narrative, and Poetry Ireland Review among other journals.