My Turn

When it was my turn
to go in

I sat cross-legged
by the ventilator

and told my buddy

I could have cried 
but he deserved more

than that. He deserved
what carries no weight. 

Before the lungs fill

with river water, 
and the dream oozes 

away from fingers like 
the texture of drowning 

lotus petals no longer
caught between the rocks. 

George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat ReviewMoria Poetry JournalChronogram JournalAmpersand Literary ReviewThe Angle at St. John Fisher College, and 3:16 Journal. George’s blogs, essays and letters have appeared in USA TodayThe Wall Street JournalThe AtlanticHavana TimesSouth China Morning PostThe Buffalo News, and more. 

See all his poems on Tea House here.

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