Love Poem

 by Kevin Prufer

No money
and the mailbox grew wet and empty-hearted
in the rain. No money

and the ambulance’s great red eye
lit someone else’s
sleeping street.

Darling, they made me leave the hospital
and come home
where, moneyless, I looked out the window, into the rain.

You were empty, asleep and untouchable
in your hospital gown. Emptily,
the nurses walked past me,

their sympathetic heels chipping the linoleum.
Darling, the bruise where the IV goes
was round as the absence of a coin,

and you, asleep, the tube in your throat
both terrifying and
I don’t know what to call it-

broke? Without money,
the world Stops, the world’s great cities
close their eyes.

Then the heart goes dead no matter how they pound it.
Without money, I keep driving
the long road from the hospital

cursing the nurse who touched my arm so gently,
said, “go home now, there’s nothing you can do.”

it’s so much easier to talk about money,
to spend myself inside this poem.
Wake up.

You’ve slept and slept while the rain came down.
say something, anything at all.
Open your bankrupt mouth.