Take these sunken eyes and learn to see.
One of my first patients was a man
with advanced AIDS.
He was admitted with altered mental status
and a fever.
As I leaned over to check his colostomy site,
he smiled and touched my breast,
saying he loved me.
His partner quickly pulled his hand away
and apologized. By this time,
the patient was singing Blackbird
and waving his arms like a symphony conductor.
His partner and I continued the song
until he fell asleep.
Stacy R. Nigliazzo is the author of Scissored Moon (Press 53, 2013), named Book of the Year by the American Journal of Nursing. It was also listed as a finalist for the Julie Suk Poetry Prize (Jacar Press) and the Texas Institute of Letters First Book Award for Poetry/Bob Bush Award. She is co-editor of Red Sky, an anthology addressing the global epidemic of violence against women (Sable Books). srnigliazzo.com