August 2013

the wound dresser

Fearful, shaking,
his hands find
patterns in the remnants
of bodies flung
like shrapnel.

Needles, thread,
he turns seamstress,
closing and reattaching
scraps of the fallen.

Here a boy’s eye,
there a hand roughly
severed at the wrist.

He puzzles how
infection and inflection
are two sides
of an unbalanced coin.

Come closer, one whispers.
Give this to my girl.

A bit of doggerel
betrayed by a handsome script,
the heart’s last grasp
of sentimentality.

Nodding, he praises it
inwardly as a voice of the ages,
pockets it and patches
what will never move again.

—Álvaro Rodríguez

3 thoughts on “August 2013

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