Howard Firkin
Tick off the days. Another working week
lies crumpled on the floor in five white shirts.
The start of something ending always hurts;
and this is no exception. My technique
is just to lie and smile and say I’m fine.
Each day another layer peels away.
Another, softer layer lies exposed
and nothing is revealed; it’s just unclothed.
You don’t call. I have nothing left to say.
Tomorrow finds me hanging on the line.

Recuperation days are largely still.
I keep myself from sleep and lie awake.
New days line up, white dashes up a hill.
I count them off with every step I take.