Academic journal article The Hudson Review

The Wait

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

The Wait

Article excerpt

The time has come, says my wife, startling me,

but all she means is that she's going to clean out

the linen closet. She says it calms her down.

I have been waiting for the call to tell me whether

I live or die, more or less. So far, I'm alive,

distracting myself with anything, settling on

organizing bookshelves where The Cloud of Unknowing

sits next to Gray 's Anatomy, The Encyclopedia

of Ignorance next to the Bible, and I watch

the clock that doesn't move, try to focus, look for

alliances so as not to get lost, can't stop, as if any pause

means end, you cannot push back that hole

in front of you, coming at you as you ride the wave

of heartbeats to count as if they will be gone soon

when the horizon slips off the end as it did

for ancient sailors in their weak vessels on the unknown,

up, down, hot, cold, waiting for it to ring, ring,

ring, why doesn't he call? …

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