Science  Write  Now

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Using your average stud finder, palm 

the flat hand of it against the drywall,  

until it pings with an infrared calm. 

Pencil the moment. Drill until splinter  

and plaster dust are couplet. This is 

where to fathom the topmost bolt,  

and how to sink true the steely other  

into the shin bones of your house. This 

is how a wall-mounted flatscreen  

should swag: like an offertory hat,  

a wrist in a sling, or an awkward 

pause in a eulogy. Now, calibrate  

its declination and pivot. Power on  

its shrill obliquities of streaming apps: 

open-concept living; dewy-eyed 

serial dramas; klaxoning ideologues;  

bickering upscale housewives.  

This is how to be, and how to be  

sustained, how to couch infirmity  

within that frailty of memory foam,  

clean cotton bedding, and a wireless 

remote jigged beside your hip while  

power cords synapse the underbelly 

of your bed. This is what joists 

hope: a constant of mitered walls, 

a spouse handy at stoutly bolting

to them whatever cantilevers deep 

most and cumbrous from within you. 

This is how he battens down along 

side you and surveils your repose;  

how he waits for you to toggle  

on, scatter into those lambent  

capillaries of blue-white pulse. 

This is how you will curve to his  

parenthesis of hands, tilt upward 

to the axis of his mouth. This is why 

you will puzzle your invalid limbs  

into a hard-bitten bulwark of shank nail  

and sheetrock, become a thing at once  

upright and pendent as breath; why  

this bedridden life, pinned, knuckled,  

shall not, like a morticed hinge, shut you.

Previously published in Mollyhouse and The Ending Hasn't Happened Yet.