have you ever worn paper clothes
given to you by a loved one
through the hands of a stranger?
someone tasked with asking
your ability to cope
to bathe, to eat and sleep?

two weeks in a makeshift bed
built with overwhelming care
filled with fluff, nesting linted legs—
two weeks and caressing questions
become interrogations, investigations.
what do you need? how do you feel?

I paint my nails, argue with my father,
swallow my pills and
wear the blue socks with the sticky toes—
a keepsake from the place
with the paper clothes
that have finally burned away