(in loving memory of Patrick Conte January 11, 2004)
it is a sad business
when you’re strapped in iv drips, catheters, oxygen masks
to a hospital bed
the time passes
the extinguisher of maladies descends
looming through quarantined, plastic, humidified air
on some he takes pity and others he has none left to spare.
After having watched his returns, il dolor
now more than two or three
transient stops in four years
both living and dying hearts
beating replete without fear
In St. Joseph’s hospital
where stone angels grace halls, I pace
whilst my grandfather and death dispatch their calls.