Hospital Vigil

you lie there
small feet turned out
heart stopped on the green screen
your electric thought an undeviated line:

you are a rusk
dry
sweet to me—that light—
I hear them say, you can hold her now

outside beyond the window
the evening mounds up behind the sky
higher and blacker,
the sun burning a rose-light
in the line of hills;
I drink it down,
I swear it,
like an herbal infusion:

the living world is profligate
and has cast you out
your skull too small
for eternity

Grace Chappell’s work has been published in the Sunday SF Chronicle, the Richmond ReView, the Anderson Valley Advertiser and Short Fiction by Women, and online at Your Daily Poem, Haiku Journal, Every Day Poets, and Front Porch Review. She also writes the classical music program notes for the San Francisco City Chorus. She lives in San Francisco, California, as well as part-time in northern Mendocino county.

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