Ill, illus. by the incredible Cybele Rowe


Woke up a few inches above the sheets.
My bones were poking out of every pore.
The blankets hovered on my sharpest points.
I warned my waking wife, “Don’t roll over.
I’m pokey again.” “What? Ow. Okay. It’s

going to be all right.” She rose fast to pour
lotion into my hands. This I patted
on, leaving globs suspended from the hair-
thin needles covering me. She chattered
to make it all seem normal. “I think that’s

a good reason to call in sick,” she said.
“Would you do it?” I asked. “Okay. You go
to the garden. I’ll call Guy.” The sky bled
pinks and golds as I stopped and let my toes’
tender skin greet the cold, bare soil. My core

felt warm though frost stood in the garden rows,
and I was naked as a winter rose.

I'm totally honored to include work by the renowned sculptor Cybele Rowe.
Check out her art at


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