Sunday, February 20, 2011

on a shoal of shale

Over on the Facebook side, I linked to one of my poems in UVA's Hospital Drive--a literary journal concerning medicine, health, etc. It is the second such journal in which I have published poetry. There are more that I have my sights on. I love the concept: the poetry of the body--sickness, healing, blood, bones, gastronomy, nursing, will and spirit--the lyricism of drawling decay, the staccato rhythms of the heart, the thrilling narrative of convalescence.

Here is a short poem that I wrote recently that belongs to this ilk. In fact, it is closely related to "A Man Drowns"--as both a foil and a cohort. "Disabused in Ambulance" is flesh where the other is air, is a grin where the other is a gasp.

Please enjoy and I will continue to share these, some of my favorite though most reluctantly-composed, poems.

Disabused in Ambulance

An angel hovers above you.

She glows, backlit by glory.

Supplying air, fastening her gaze,

Her silver eyes, on your failing one.

Breathe. Not a command,

A suggestion. If you want to live.

Only if you want to.

You do. If only for her. You breathe.

She smiles, her wings detach.

The siren moans, you recollect

Your death, assume your revival.

Your resuscitation. Breathe.

The vapor drifts from the scene.

You lie, half-naked,

On a shoal of shale. Her open mouth,

Sour breath, your pummeled chest.

Breathe! At the time—a command.

You obeyed. For her.

The siren moans. You moan.

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