If you have no voice after reading Rumi
to a dying man you hardly know, this is
a good and timely thing. Pay attention.
If you’ve sworn to stay at the hospital
for two days, end up staying ten, you
are the wind that rocks me forward.
There are lights in the city that never
know an off-switch or what it is they
illumine. Be this, you beg old friends,
your voice still husked in rattle after
the man’s body has been rolled out and
you’ve left the book of poetry for night-
shift nurses to dog-ear, after you’ve followed
uncountable shoes across the salted
street, clamping onto the living
hands that let you feel two pulses meet.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.