Howard Firkin
(Suicide watch ward)
The weather is a Rubik’s cube. Rain falls
and drips like dominoes. A Scrabble board
is folded and a stream of tiles is poured
like thunder when the conversation stalls.
The visitors make noise they think is thanks.
The smell of cabbage is a needle in
a vein, with dinner and departure comes
the ooze of medicated blood which numbs,
Spakfilla for the holes beneath your skin.
We wait for sleep to fire its useless blanks.

The hollow bounce of words on ping pong tables;
the tele bubbling like a fish tank, filled
with drowning creatures out of Aesop’s fables.
Blue dish cloths wipe up anything that’s spilled.