Cameron Morse

Rooming In

While our week-old son lies
skewed under the blue lights
of the Bili-bassinet and nurses

squeeze black beads of blood
out of his heel, Lili and I room
in a dream she dreams of her

uncle on a bus that is on fire
and all the passengers burnt
except for their clothes.

When all of them get off at a stop
to say goodbye to their families,
my wife hides in a rack of clothes.

After they leave on the bus, the bus
turns into a crate, a shipping
container, and heads to the lake

and it drives into the lake,
the passengers partying: those who can sing
sing; those who can recite, recite
and finger-paint the corrugated walls

of the sinking room.
Twitching in the aquarium-blue lights
of the Bili-bassinet, our Theo twists,

“Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep”
plastered above the venetian blinds
of the Isolation room, the warm

chamber of God knows what
a newborn dreams.


Garbage cans tossed below the crab apple tree
flatten the green. Crab apples plop

and rot under an impenetrable comforter
of cloud, stuffing thick enough

to smother an infant. It happens more often to boys
born in the winter. It happens again and again

in my imagination, a dandelion strangled in pea gravel,
the psst! of dead cicadas

trying to get my attention, but I’m too deep
asleep, burying his body with my body.


Cameron Morse taught and studied in China. Diagnosed with Glioblastoma in 2014, he is currently a third-year MFA candidate at the University of Missouri—Kansas City and lives with his wife Lili and newborn son Theodore in Blue Springs, Missouri. His poems have been or will be published in over 75 different magazines, including New Letters, Bridge Eight, South Dakota Review, I-70 Review and TYPO. His first collection, Fall Risk, is coming out in January from Glass Lyre Press.

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