i woke to your emaciated form,
your smile smug and self-sure
even as you paled and wept,

your serpent’s hair mapping
the pillow, body quivering,
rocked by sticky tentacles.

i could have sworn i’d shaken
you off years before, dislodged
you with a hard gulp,

and a strapped wrist,
nevertheless — here you are
again, the same dead form,

the same shirking shoulders,
damp with river-water, lemur
eyed, fragile as egg shells,

your features a mirror of mine
even as your ragged breath sucks
air into rotting lungs.

You light a cigarette, curl smoke
around your tongue, lean back
in to the mattress-hollow – –

it fits you like a glove.