by Tom Barlow
Exhausted, I watch another body bag loaded into the
refrigerated truck outside St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.
Above me, mourning doves perch on ledges, waiting
for my bread. Masked pedestrians cross to the other
side of the street, and even heathens make the sign
of the cross as they pass. A heartsick daughter stands
with binoculars in a window on the tenth floor across
Third Avenue, probably hoping to see into her father’s
hospital room, but I have closed the blinds in those rooms
against a sun that could only bring false hope.
All over town, ghosts shed their swaddling as they rise,
and the fabric floats down like birds gliding toward
strewn seed. I have never felt so alone.
Tom Barlow is an Ohio writer whose work has appeared in journals including The Stoneboat Literary Journal, Ekphrastic Review, Voicemail Poetry, Hobart, Tenemos, Redivider, Harbinger Asylum, Heron Clan, The Remington Review, Your Daily Poem, and many more. Arabella Luna Friedland is a visual artist and writer based in New York City. She’s influenced by a childhood with cartoons, a classical education in anatomy and life drawing, and a firm belief that all art — is a portrait.