The Christmas Patient

John Kay

Blood draws dissolve into Christmas lights,
veins dizzy with the latest medications.

Then alone on a street of dusty lava lamps,
eating baklava with freezing fingers, half—

understanding why my mind can’t breathe,
betrayed by the bad apostle in my blood.

Bows of breath and diamond bright watches,
sticky faces, burnt chestnuts, glitter on glitter. 

I find a cheap jewelry stand outside Kaufhauf
and buy a necklace for my wife. Walking back,

I cry—thinking, now, that I may have to die,
the little bag in my hand rattling like a bad lung.