Nuns float through the halls with silent strides,
murmuring of heavens I do not believe in.
I am lucid but stalling, still fear the threshold
of my own home where judgment sits patient
as an old dog. Thank you for the chrysanthemums.
Their cheerful yellow reminds me of the country,
and I water them twice a day to show the nuns
I am responsible. They nod and stroke their crosses.
The blandness astounds – oh, antiseptic, colorless
life! No tartness of cherry, no impossible pink flesh
of watermelon, no vanilla cloud of bakery smells
to tempt me to eat. I can feel my ribs and at night,
I fall to the bones of my knees next to my small bed.
The nuns think I am praying, and they are pleased,
but I scrape away the wood with my fingernails,
convinced they are hiding something. I will find it.