Volume 25, Number 4

Henry Ford Hospital, 2007

Sirens help me sleep at night, giving life
during the hours where
nobody nurtures more fear. Not tonight,

when all the words I thought I knew
get caught in a vise grip. Even the dog
whimpered himself back into a puppy. My chest

knotted up as I inhaled bear traps. The tardy ambulance
couldn't recover all of you. It couldn't carry
the missing address book of us, what you kept hidden.

I know how your grandfather quoted a god you weren't sure
listened when you prayed, how
you brought the one who makes each morning worth it
home to meet the family. It came as no surprise

to see him at the hospital, inconsolable,
tears collecting in his beard, when
your name filled the waiting room. Your grandfather came,

found himself shocked at how much
it hurt to see your pain. We all know
how he called your love an abomination.

—Deonte Osayande