where the writers are
praying for my friend in the hospital

Inside the White Palace

Tonight, nothing
tastes right. You are trying to save
the tiger again, this time

she's in the shape of a girl
huddled at the head of a hospital
bed, fighting off

the hospice nurses, their
kind needles, with a glare and a wave.
Transparent guidebooks
stabbed directly under
the bruised skin at her elbows. White
noise shaped like two
hands, the tubes keeping her
tied to this town whisper and hum like
a tanker powering up at the dock.

You shave the tiger’s head,
camouflage her with a shimmering beret
and red spotted tights.

Mashed peas slipping
on the spoon they offer like the oily
fluid of secret aphids.
Her white tongue  a snow-
blind otter, starting to feel: Nothing
tastes right tonight.