A Liminal Living (Death, as Grey Zone)

—For JM

A year after you were declared
dead you started to menstruate

like any teenage woman with
hypothalamic activation-

some still say there is
what amounts to a lump

of flesh in your skull:
she has no gag reflex

her pupils are static
& unreactive to light

a radionuclide cerebral
blood flow study reveals

a white void.

You lay liminal
unless you recover

from this version of
death, yet

your mom swears on her own
life your true consciousness
defies your whited-out brain

she insists you respond
to verbal commands like
raise your left pointer finger

to which, the response,
is some version of:

but if her ability to hear
is gone, does a ghost
inhabit her body?

you still bleed.