Souls in Purgatory

By Scott Creley

“As we passed the time thus pleasantly I saw death go by, along yonder corridor…she was with a friend of yours.” – Mike Carey, God Save the Queen

Moments doled out
like a morphine drip –
or, of course, in coffee spoons.

In the heat,
we twist and fray like ribbons tied around tree trunks.
Trace that plastic circle,
trace it again.

Sweaty sleep,
knuckles so dry they bleed.
The low rattle of the rasping lung,

The slight hitch in my breathing as the sun rises.
Walk home and you will smell the sprinklers,
the hanging floral perfume of water.

At home, the blue television
a blade of light beneath the door,

the first notes in that forgetting song.



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