After the Ambulance

Carpenter ants picked the T-bone clean.

    The dog’s leash tautened toward
          a square of sun.

A hallway lamp wavered.

     Slice of lit motes through
          the cracked bedroom door.

Her slipper under the bed, another on the armchair.

     On the shell comb, a single strand.
          Her blue robe still damp.




a narrow bed in an endless
row of beds tucked tight
like chalk-white pills
cocooned in plastic

no visitors no cellphone no
end to night but the nurse
who relayed messages
telegraphic—send blue

bathrobe Saint Jude
rosary lime-flavored
Jell-O chenille slippers
boar bristle brush




            why am I here?    

pressed in her suitcase
between terrycloth and silk          

            where is my husband?     

on a prescription slip, scribbled
in her physician scrawl          

            when will I go home?

barely three days before
the words slowed to a trickle

Copyright © 2019 Angela Narciso Torres. This poem was originally published in Quarterly West. Used with permission of the author.