REFINISHING A BOAT IN MORGAN'S GARAGE
(rebuilding a vehicle, repairing anything)
They huddle together,
dozens of squashed cans spilling
from bad bank shots around a recycle bin
full of smashed Budweiser boxes.
Urine musk rises from the gravel
between the house and RV
near the dumpster full of rotted deck wood
(or bad parts).
Their boxer sniffs the ground
and adds his scent.
The women hold cigarettes
that burn down between their fingers
while the men pass a pipe
and shatter the air with farts.
This is where,
every spare moment,
among the tools and cast off chairs,
they hold communion.
she bends a straw to your lips,
props your pillows
brings warm blankets,
and after a short while she brings
another dose of pills
and takes an empty glass away.
she's neat and orderly
tired and overworked
and has seen thousands of naked men.
don't ask her out, ever.
somebody's mother or daughter
she doesn't wait for gratitude
she keeps smiling and scrubs you clean
wipes your wounds and backside
and asks if everything is ok.
she doesn't inflict bodily harm
genetics will out, and no amount of care
can make up for poor choices.
dead or dying, in flames,
frozen, drowning, train wrecks
she works in common cause to clean
care and teach with calm
eyes, serene face, steady hands.
she gives no salt for your wounds
released, rebalanced, prescribed
graves dug, again, and again
she knows it never changes.
she learns the smell of dying souls.
she knows the body contains so much blood.
she wants you to believe in the power of healing
or whatever lies you believe
to show in her face, she knows exactly
what quality of your life
is up to you.