'A Writing Wife's Fever Dream': A Poem by Lisa Lerma Weber


I look upon my husband, pain carved on his face

as he wrestles with a fitful sleep and

helplessness—that furtive ghost—slips into the room

humming the First Movement of Moonlight Sonata

and I wonder how something so beautiful

can be wrapped in something so mournful.

"Everything in this world is a slice of heaven

and a cup of hell," the ghost whispers to me.

And while I think about the hell

that is watching someone you love suffer,

I wonder if words have the ability to heal.

If I whisper, "Te Amo," in my husband's sleeping ear,

will he dream of the time before his body declared mutiny?

If he reads this poem, will the traitors disembark?

Or will they say I've mixed too many metaphors and

my words are all wrong and good luck placing them elsewhere?

A slice of heaven and a cup of hell

and some will offer such greeting card platitudes,

say you could not appreciate the deliciousness

of each precious moment if you didn't then

blister your heart with anxiety and pain and sorrow.

How I would like to pour boiling anger

down the throats of the unconcerned doctors

who dismiss my husband's pleas for help.

Maybe it's them or maybe it's the insurance

company and maybe it's all because

there is not enough gold on this ship.

Maybe words aren't always meant to heal

but to slice right through you,

and right now I want to release the full force

of my words, slice and slice

as I hum Moonlight Sonata.

I want to steer this ship of prayers

and cries for help right into the rocks,

sink into the depths of these words.

A ghost of myself, I slip into bed and press my body

against my husband's mournfully beautiful back,

kiss the spot between his shoulder blades

which stick out just a little too much now.

There are so many things I want to whisper,

but all I do is cry because I don't have the right words.


Lisa Lerma Weber is always dreaming. Her work has appeared in Brave Voices, Crepe & Penn, Ghost City Review, Green Light Lit, The Failure Baler, and others. Follow her on Twitter @LisaLermaWeber

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