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Paradise on Black Ice

Patrick Donnelly

            Heaven hunts round for those that find itself below, and then it snatches.
                        —Emily Dickinson
 

I wind
the sheet of elegy

while he's still alive, I can't help it,
I follow his breath while he sleeps,

greet each coming and going,
with an Ave.
                  (Because of how
the quick
become the dead.)

But right now he's showering
with a gospel choir, radio

half on and half off that station.
And today's heaven is half hell,

half whole, half hurt,
hunting every naked thing

with the same harsh delight.

From Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin by Patrick Donnelly. Copyright © 2012 by Patrick Donnelly. Reprinted with permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.

Patrick Donnelly