St. John’s Hospital

Bruges and An-aesthetics

Alarm forbids the tempted touch,
the thought I could contract their silence
or vintage smear the sterile frame.

A veil settles in the wake of pain,
a comfort unrelieved by shade.
The sickness unto death begins
in noonday Sun on shapeless land.

Memling’s sick sipped visionary histories in triptych,
dripping physics frozen in fluorescent air.
A surgical courage surges
from Godhead bound in rainbow over Patmos
and the flylike dragon flitting in impertinent distance
and wonder at what the Baptist’s spineless eyes could see.

The eyes are overgrown with noise
and find the rosebeds by thornpricks in the dark.
So the patient pacing his reprieve among the trees
sees the fourteenth station coruscate
in clinging shards of amber
shattered in an unremembered rage.

Daniel Fitzpatrick lives in Hot Springs, AR, with his wife and daughter. The three enjoy micro-farming, Russian novels, and Dr. Seuss. Daniel’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The 2River View and PILGRIM.

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