Elsewhere on the insubstantial
crust of North America,
some dogs are deep
in woeful conversation.
A couple of interns shush each other to listen
and a chill wind seems to blow.
They’ve been smoking in the open door
of the ambulance bay
and through the graveyard hours
their conversation has been crude
and without consequence.
The angels at the tomb had a question,
Why seek the living among the dead?,
and couldn’t get out of there fast enough
once it was asked.
I’m well aware I’m a whole day late,
or the interns are, and sure, there’s a dead man,
but he’s arriving.
If the morning warms a little
I’ll spend all morning here,
watching the interns as they smoke
and distance grows between them
in the open door,
one male, one female,
two deaths apiece,
each knowing what the both don’t
in the industrious muscle
of their hearts.
Kenny Williams’ first book, Blood Hyphen, won the 2015 FIELD Poetry Prize and is available through Oberlin College Press. His poems have appeared most recently in Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast, the Bellevue Literary Review, and the Sewanee Review. He holds degrees from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and the University of Virginia, and lives in Richmond.2