Alone In the Desert

He unrolls from his bed,
a newspaper unfolded,
and checks himself into the day.

The news is this: the pain
at his left ear drains
down a stiffened neck

into a shoulder bone.
Slowly he orbits
the Obit: Not in one.

But now he’s in Op. Ed.,
and what he says
goes: pain spreads

like a desert stretched
by unreachable gulfs,
a vastness over parched

relentless, wavy lines.
Head bowed, he declines
to kneel and pray.

On the back page, Quik Bite
scans no food light
enough to swallow.

What news there is, is grim.
So that’s it.
The day has just begun.

Lullaby White Anglo-Saxon Protestant