“Leave a therapist in a room with a pistol
and he’ll come out Episcopalian,”
my terminal lover always said,
stroking her famous mustache.

Each day she’d confess,
after I’d changed her bedpan
and begun to undress her,
that the margin between sanity
and her life was expanding,
and her only desire
was to fly kites.

I felt superior when I was with her,
an evolved ape washing her feet,
but I wasn’t much more than a basket case,
mainlining drugs meant
for her collapsing veins.

She never asked for them anyway,
preferring to curve her splotched,
purple fingers around my shoulder
to draw me into a sloppy embrace.

I thought of drugs as progress,
but she could reach maximum hum
from the smell of my hair.

She was all I ever knew of wisdom.