Early in the morning when it was yet dark she had gone back to the clinic
to bring Blake his clothes and they said he’d been discharged
he wasn’t there so she went back and woke Simon and Peter
who came and up they went past the desk to the ward
but where he had lain only a small pile of t-shirt and sheet
and two orderlies each with good English
yes we had just been calling and promptly the Embassy gentleman
came as per instructed. Get Andrew and Nadia said Peter and left,
but Sarah moved not. Then at the doorway
a tall man in white with no name
on his lab coat: Who are you looking for? Why are you crying?
There could be steps right here, she said, going down to some river.
My friend was not clay and glitter not an image of some orange god
not a version or bizarre incarnation of smudged attributes not something
you people bow to and chant at and throw your food and savings and shirts
this is he, is he, is not that, we refuse
to dance in some street-crush of half-naked hawkers and then throw him
at some astrologer’s perfect moment into some clogged estuary,
she said, spilling everything onto the cracked tile.
Later, she thought he said Sarah, putting his mace, spear, and trident
down on a chair, and came over to her, standing just out of reach.


Published in:
The Beloit Poetry Journal, Vol. 64, No.3 (Spring 2014).