song of small bones

in the hospice
from further down the hall
past a woman crying
with a child past
where a corpse lay disguised alive
and further even past
the nurse and nun smoking
cigarettes next to one small window
allowing in the only light she heard
the voice of a man
singing a fragment of a song of
small bones and she
walked the hall so long to find him
it must have taken hours
before she saw the pale old man
in a room of rust and
shotgun pellet holes—tiny stars round
final permissions







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