Coma by Cynthia Cruz

    After Pierre Guyotat

I wish I had had my camera
at the moment of collapse, 
when it all happened. The beginning,
of the end of everything. 
When my mind became
erased and the world murmured
to me in its strange animal
like language. The haloing in the room
of the in-between, and the steady hum
of nothing. I was horizontal
when it hit me. When I blacked out
on the doctor’s examination bed. 
When I went out, when the world dropped
and fell away like a moon
moving too fast or the black sun
when it comes. when it smolders. 
Then the nurse, her face, too close, 
before me, her small hands. 
One with ice on the nape
of my neck, the other
like a lover’s, on my face.
Her eyes, looking into mine. 
The doctor, I don't know
when, he pressed the invisible
button, summoning her. And, asks,
Are you breathing, can you breath. 
And love came into me, then, 
another ventilation, an atmosphere..
And it was then, in that small
blank moment, that smear or dot
of coma, that I was brought back
when I left everything
I knew and loved, behind me.


Cynthia Cruz is the author of four collections of poetry, including
three with Four Way Books: The Glimmering Room (2012),
Wunderkammer (2014), and How the End Begins (2016). Her fifth
collection of poems, Dregs, and a collection of essays on silence and
marginalization Notes Toward a New Language are both
forthcoming in 2018. Cruz has received fellowships from Yaddo and
the MacDowell Colony as well as a Hodder Fellowship from
Princeton University. She has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence
College in writing and an MFA in Art Criticism & Writing from the
School of Visual Arts. Cruz is currently pursuing a PhD in German
Studies at Rutgers University. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence


Elijah Tubbs