Ars Poetica: Nightingale

A middle-aged mother of two tells me
poetry can heal your soul
and I hope to God that’s true.
I hope my muse is a Florence Nightingale,
mercy with a lamp and an opium syringe.
Maybe every time I carpet-bombed myself,
I dashed another shell-shocked ghost off
to her tender bedside manner, laid side by side
like copper bullets in a rifle clip:
I’ll be the one that jams, half-birthed,
strapped into the bell turret with IV tubing
and a clear view of the English churchyard
this flying fortress is flying into.
I ring my heart with a Maginot line,
bristling with the sound and shape of fire
but easily circumvented.