Nurse Yamaguchi gathers up
her bag, winks at me. She thinks
we’re friends but we are not.

Will she return in the morning,
wash me, turn my shoulders,
peppermint soap stinging?

Would she take me home,
read me The Wizard Of Oz,
how Dorothy found her way
home at last? She pulls

my sheets too tight, restrains
me from following her home,
walks the hall like a tugboat.

I’m the barge heaped with coal and fish,
steely, calm on the end of a great rope.
Was I hungry, didn’t I want soup?