Issue 128, Fall 1993
I watch your hospital TV as you sleep,
two weeks you sleep, while men walk
in a silent movie, their world eroding
into grains of documentary light:
a Cleveland street in the thirties, lanes
of laundry waving like women in a parade.
I have not watched long or close enough
to know why these men have come this far,
there on the verge of speech. Something
momentous is furling their white shirts.
The younger one talks fast with his hands,
his hair standing briefly in the wind.
The sky above them is raining the scars
of countless screenings. It may as well
be the future with all its quiet insistence,
the unsteady gaze. Elsewhere in Cleveland,
others are going about their lives.
From a closer time, you would see their threads