Where he’d leaned against pillows to laugh or weep,
there was only the smell of antiseptic.
The room was empty
of the breath of fire, breath of forgiveness,
the gods to whom we gave sacrifice,
the liver donor and A-negative blood;
gone was his wanting, and mine.
He was not returning.
In his room, I found a plastic bag
with his broken prison Timex,
but couldn’t stop the sycamore tree
from filling the windows of his apartment,
how its bark curled,
stained like an ancient map.