I want to ride in the wake of a beautiful ambulance
with an ice cream truck song and flaring lights of blue
stained-glass, red stained glass throwing red and blue
on passing buildings. So what of evening
light at noon, a squall line decapitating the skyscrapers? The sun ‘s
burnt out of his job, cuts his hours, but returns to work. It’s not
hopeless, is it? The ambulance back windows not for looking out.
Soon enough the accident scene emerges and I, the rubberneck
ogle the woman picking glass from her hair, her body
uninformed of the damage. Her hair flinches when the rain’s
first drops reach down to her.
There are calendars made of candles, chandeliers
in abandoned hotels downtown
whose walls hum without electricity. Before plywood sealed
the window someone threw a rock through
I could see. At one time
I checked into my room, flung open the curtains and waited.
No one is moving now. The ambulance takes a chair and
everyone wants to keep it
here, as though this is to where we have gathered,
as though our traveled miles combined could lead us
to, well, here.
I remember the suddenly clear sky of the evacuated city.
Expressionless faces express death or the death
before death where muscle ignores thought or
thought is preoccupied with
self image in the face of tragedy
leaving us slack-jawed,
or thought leaves us altogether but what do I think
looking at myself through the window
of an ambulance stuck in traffic? Life doesn’t care
who occupies it. I am not my life.