top of page

Conference Room 422C



When I trip across the depressed spot on the floor

kick the mangy carpet

slide my hands over the linoleum tabletop

where slippery pink repeating rock patterns

have held plastic cups of water, untouched


When I feel clumsily for a switch

flick milky lights

over the leather-encrusted chair 

across from me, collapsed

under the form of thousands of absent bodies


When I hear people chatting outside

laughing in another place, unaware

of the unnatural hum

coming from the coiled radiator

closest to the window, closest to you


I remember your face, the polite smile you gave

after he said hello 

how are you

right through this door

please take a seat;


the fold of your eyelids

as he told you that light 

would reach your heart

for the first time;


the imperceptible drop of your arms 

as you heard

that hands would enter into you

hold some parts gently, cut away others

and finally, almost whole,

you would be released

alive, healed, possibly;


I saw the shattering lines

across your eyes

as the world 

fell slightly askew.


Could I have kept the window from breaking,

the radiator from screaming and twisting,

the plastic table from buckling, melting,

the chair from bursting at its seams,

crumbling to dust under your arms?


No; the shrapnel had spread wide

and hit its thousand targets--

I held your hand


one delicate leaf against another,

as this strange home collapsed around you.

bottom of page