Harvard Medical School, Boston, December 1994, 6:00 p.m.
I’ve spent my whole life aching
to finish, to just stop. I think the air
tired, like the snow
tumbling from infinity toward
the certain dirt. The winter
evening rests gently on the row
of hospitals, reminding me of something:
a deadline, sleep. Tonight,
I’m the worn, vigilant heart
sitting in the chest of this courtyard.
I’m the lungs that inflate so far.
I inspire, let go,
while others move, urgent, running from here, going
somewhere. In front of me,
the busy, sad street, stretching, strives
like an axon, the people all nerves. Behind me,
in the library, furiously,
students are learning to be less
lost, their skin becoming dust
decomposing in books. Walking past,
some numb bodies
with nylon humps stuffed with books
look to me
like vertical camels, miserably thirsty
and confused. Each millisecond its own
An atom, I
absorb the fever in the air,
the blood in the brain,
and I am in the midst of going again.
Home is my end and my cure,
temporary, sure; I realize
I cannot stop.