All over his body wolves send up a mad
chorus to the moon
across his arms and his chest
and where his new liver floats up in him
like a mushroom's flat cap.
"I feel like I'm tripping," he says
at a pitch lower than his wife hears,
and then "and I don't believe in God."
No room in that room.
So much white. So much blue.
The wolves cry the great name
into the hallway where a gurney
rolls up and down the tile
looking for someone to play catch with.
Push the wheels straight, pull the cotó
It's my job to take the heat of belief.
the nurses line up for ashes
in their white Crocs
and Reeboks. Wolfman
wants God so bad
he tattoos not-Godówhat seems not-Godó
on his skin, wants to tell me
he's afraid, that the room squeezes
time like flexible hose,
that he forgets his wife's voice,
that men come in the night
to argue with him about the nature
of stars. There are puddles of stars above
the silver wolves on his chest. Not-God sets
a chair near his bed.
He says thank you and lays
a hand on the skinny arm
and with his moist stare and rough
face tries to convey
how much he trusts the moon
who centers the persistent stars
and how he forgets the soldier sun
who keeps everyone blinking and quiet.
Michigan Quarterly Review