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Long Beach, CA

Poetry Blog

I Am the Resurrection and the Life

Brandon Cook

Watching her struggle
Like an injured bug upturned on its back
Her breath searching, like so many legs desperate for something to hold onto
The full brutal ugly of death
Which she labors into, helpless

But the nurse is smiling--
Cell phone to her ear--
As she walks by

Her charts mark the courses that are wandering ever nearer,
Inevitably, to the vanishing
Like bare strings that, broken, must fall into the dark below

That’s just the way of things
Which can be pushed aside for hours and hours
(The nurse, after all, talks about her weekend plans,
And something about a boat
And where they’ll catch it and where they’ll land)
That’s how most spend their lives:
Batches of hours and hours, pushing it down into the underground

But, then
It comes
And it comes to You

As my wife comes out
She smiles
Then collapses into the breaking of tears
That is the unsheathed honesty of a soul
With no energy left for holding itself back
(Which is what ‘normal life’ is, anyhow--
A holding back)

If not You,
No helpless are helped
If this is not truth and true
Pity us
And pity all who came before
Who labored on these shores
With no real hope of crossing

Somehow in her tears against the senseless farce of all of this
Something makes sense
As when a sky is pierced, just for a moment,
By sun
Before the black rumbles down again
And light is gone