“The Night Nurse” by Emily Fragos


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Audio: Read by the author.

The night nurse turns me in my bed and changes my clothes
the white sheets beneath me. They’re wet, they’re dirty,

and the night nurse washes my face and changes my dress.
The night nurse makes me clean and refreshed.

The night nurse comes to me with a pill in a tiny cup.
I take the pill from her beautiful hands

and the night nurse takes my pain away so I can sleep
without dream plague or fear of never waking up.

the moon is out The night nurse doesn’t notice.
The night nurse is just watching me. I am life and death

to the night nurse. I’m more important to the night nurse
than the full pink moon that poets are obsessed with.

The night nurse comes flying over me like a silent drone.
The heart beats peacefully like an upside down bat,

heart pounding like a Serengeti cheetah. The heart
must be listened to, beat by beat, minute by minute.

The night nurse knows my heart like no other on earth.
The night nurse comes with a needle. I would wince

with someone else, but the night nurse slips the injection
under my skin and in the blue vein and I don’t mind

‘Cause I’ve given up on myself The Night Nurse
needs my blood and I’m happy to give her my blood.

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