Issue 167, Fall 2003
It was a human place. On either side
young women and young men held manmade things
contrived for widening their lives. Some held,
by way of opened books, a separate and singular repose
so much less tense than the precision of any open flower.
There were no flowers; every torso was arranged
to complement the object of its thought. It was understood
the dead could no more lean above guitars or books,
or turn their heads and speak, or list their heads to weep
again. It was among the lucid restive ones we moved,
accompanied by who was ours, through wide halls dense with
empty ornate wooden beds, into a room in red that held
the one bed and a window, where we looked away, blurred
as if two books at once were being read to us.