[ philip seymour hoffman ]
AFTER THE WAR I DREAMT OF NOTHING BUT THE WAR for R.
When the nurse on the phone won’t tell me where he is, I turn my body into wind, troubling the city of hospitals. Slang of nurses, blood numbers, legalities, the tic of a stuttered clockwork; our disease has made me fluent in Emergency; at the front desks they are not allowed to say he is here, but they do not say he’s not here, they say If he was here would you want to send back a note? and I write three notes in three hospitals, watching the nurse for her smooth head’s small twitch that says, He isn’t here. It’s Mercy Hospital, finally, that has him. And because I am not family, I am again a waiting room crowded with sound. Something-something-terror jangles across the TV, old news, another day. Two children, strangers, discuss superhero du jour: Iron Man. Iron Man can he can fly, he has guns, he can turn into whatever he needs. The crows have come back to the city for the spring. They swerve in the slow grey wind, crying to one another Come here come here come here come here come here. Come here come here
(originally appeared in The Offending Adam)