Arriving late, my clinic having run
past 6 again, I realize I donít
have cancer, donít have HIV, like them,
these students who are patients, who I lead
in writing exercises, reading poems.
For them, this isnít academic, itís
reality: I ask that they describe
an object right in front of them, to make
it come alive, and one writes about death,
her death, as if by just imagining
the softness of its skin, its panting rush
into her lap, that she might tame it; one
observes instead the love he lost, heís there,
beside him in his gown and wheelchair,
together finally again. I take
a good, long breath; weíre quiet as newborns.
The little conference room grows warm, and right
before my eyes, I see that what I thought
unspeakable was more than this, was hope.
|Copyright © 2014 by Rafael Campo. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 3, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.|