Keep your eyes open, he tells me,
and I watch his through the rear view mirror. Small and squinted
like he’s always smiling even when he isn’t, like right now.
The car is moving faster now and I’m not sure where
I should put my hands because of the blood.
These are the things I worry about.
I try to tell him this but no words come out.
Keep your eyes open, he says again.
At least I think it was again. Maybe this was the first time.
I can smell the water on me, metallic
copper – like rust waiting to be born –
Tell me what happens in On The Waterfront, he says
but I have never seen that movie.
Suddenly I am afraid, because I can’t answer that question
and I can’t keep my eyes open. So I start making up a story.
I add characters and setting and dialogue
and I hear him laugh lightly – but then whimper – like a hit thing.
Okay, he says. Wizard of Oz. Tell me what happens.
And I smile, my eyelids dropping because I know this one
and I know we are only a few miles from the hospital
and if we can just get there, everything is going to be okay again.
13 hours ago