It Cannot Be Called Ambition

Your need for blood
has brought you back into my life—
no good veins to slip
the needle in—a tube bleeds into the PICC line
in your chest. 
You text to say    blood levels are critical.
I come to the hall outside your room
and I don’t open the door       and I don’t
unpack the card I brought.    
I used to erase
all     of your messages.              
Nothing in my house was once yours.
Each morning I scent the air with incense
before I open my eyes         I have a memory
of prayer—
your dry fingers hold mine
in church                     I always wondered
if I should keep    my eyes      closed
in meditation       I don’t mind questions.
I dream I watch you on a ridge.
I stand below
unseen             shards of ice scatter the trail     
shaken free    from evergreens
you look ahead—and step off.
I watch you fall.
I don’t think I wanted easy
as it would have been—I assume—
to disappear       but not
this blistering
inside the body: not a blossom
or rotting, only a body      and yours
a sick one—though
mine could be, too      the instruments
have not yet proclaimed      what this life has done
to my interior.      

*This poem was previously published in an issue of The South Dakota Review

Rachel Sahaidachny holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Butler University. She was a finalist in the 2016 Radar Poetry Coniston Prize, awarded first prize in the WabashWatershed Indiana Poetry Awards. She is co-editor of Not Like The Rest of Us: An Anthology of Contemporary Indiana Writers, and former poetry editor of Booth: A Journal. Recent writing has been published in South Dakota ReviewThe Southeast ReviewRadar PoetryWritten Here: The Community of Writers Poetry ReviewRed Paint HillNUVO,Indiana Humanities and others. She lives in Indianapolis and is Executive Director of the Indiana Writers Center, a non-profit dedicated to fostering a vibrant writing community in Indiana.
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