LEAVING THE BURN WARD AT
BERNARD MITCHELL HOSPITAL

Once gone, I will dance on the lawn
like an old Jewish king bringing up
the ark of the Lord.  I know I am
one of the lucky ones every time
I fold the visitor’s pass to fit
in my pocket, every time I turn
left at the elevator bank to grab
a cup of coffee from the cafeteria,
every time I step outside to work
my lungs like a dog in the cold.

I will commit myself to all sorts
of kindness, like giving
the shirt off my back to the corrupt
and swearing off any more dreams
of the neighbor’s wife.  I will look
to the clouds for an impossible shape,
something like peace or the face
of God, my hands rising and falling,
all clumsy and skittish, my foot
sweeping from side to side. 


Frank Matagrano
FRANK MATAGRANO, born in New York, has or will have appeared in ACM (Another Chicago Magazine), Northwest Review and Crab Orchard Review, among others. His first full-length collection of poetry, I Can Only Go as Fast as the Guy in Front of Me, is scheduled for publication by Black Lawrence Press in the Spring of 2005.
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book AwardThe St. Lawrence Book AwardThe St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The Adirondack Review