hole in my back

there is a hole in my back
where your hand is supposed to go
the fentanyl makes me laugh
i call the bald anesthesiologist a neanderthal
& sing songs about girls
i want to sing about boys     but my dad is in the room

on my side my lumbar spreads like fingers traced on paper
this is how it would look to cuddle with you
you would hold the oxygen mask to my face
i will stop breathing after the propofol
but not breathing for a few moments is worth it to know
i am not sick anymore

reach inside the hole in my spine
& dip your hand into the
stream of clean water
i want to stand on a precipice
eye-to-eye with God, to scream      where have you been
for him to wash over me, to whisper     in your blood
& i will feel the boundary of my body when God kisses my neck
i am somewhere btwn the God inside me
    & the God in the air     in the trees      in you

when i wake & you try to love me
know that my chemo breath smells like my dirty blood
i might need you to feed me     to help me walk up the stairs
            to clean up my puke     to sit with me in the murk of uncertainty
when we lie down & your fingertips trace my spine
stop at the fourth vertebrae from the bottom
kiss my caved-in skin & know that
when you touch me there it hurts

Andrew Hahn

Andrew Hahn is an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. His work has been featured in Lamp Literary Journal, R.kv.r.y Quarterly, Lavender Bluegrass: LGBT Writers on the South, Past-ten, All the Sins, Lunch, and Crab Creek Review. He currently lives in Woodstock, GA.