Friday, October 01, 2010

Just Outside Death's Automatic Revolving Door

Whirls of ice-dust sparkle in air brittle with advanced
January. Eye-skewering rays
ricochet from the thin layer
of snow-scrunch that was yesterday
's clouds and obscured sapphire
dome. Bundled in Gortex and goose down,
we near the hospital's automatic
revolving door, only to re-emerge
within the hour, with Robert
and his compromised immune system.
The institution has no room
for smokers, and the automatic door
shepherds us into
the sub-zero blast
of the last December Robert
will ever

We cannot know this.

He has scouted a corner where
the freeze is less
deadly, to inhale his nicotine
fix. Between drags there is talk of
travel, Florida seeming
(the icy breeze spiraling along my neck)
impossible. Smoking, I muse, considering his
death sentence, is hazardous
to your health.

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