a bed number

the heart slows
as he lies there
tended by doctors nurses
that only know him
as a bed number
on a chart
not a name
and when he goes
to that place
we all must go eventually
he goes unloved
leaving behind a body
to be disposed of
by the hospital staff

there are dates: for my mother

there are dates
one remembers
etched in one’s consciousness
numbers in stone
and this date
in January
I will never forget
Mercy Hospital
the doctors the nurses
you shivering
a door closing
and crying in Dr. Tassey’s arms
the calls to my sister Theresa
my brother Johnny
and George in my doorway
at two in the morning
our tears our tears
and you gone
leaving this emptiness
in my heart

Flamenco Cabaret by Federico Garcia Lorca

Lamps of crystal
and green mirrors.

On the darkened stage,
Parrala maintains
a conversation
with Death.
She calls Death,
but Death never comes,
and she calls out again.
The people are
inhaling her sobs.
And in the green mirrors,
her long, silk train
sways back and forth.

translated by Carlos Bauer