At 2:15 I hear marcus koough has…expired Like sour milk, past his date
At the security desk, the thin black man Who chats looking down at his desk When I validate my parking tickets Through the years of births and deaths. He asks me again, “What? Where?” And I wonder if I’m saying the word wrong—morgue. Like no one’s ever asked to go there before. Has no one died At this hospital? I have to sit and wait for pastoral care to take me And for the morgue to prep his body. A good-looking, young priest comes down the hallway, but he is not for me. An Indian priest sits uncomfortably, turns on the TV. There is a heavy man they have to move to get to Marc and there’s only one person There, we’ll have to wait. And then the priest does not know how to get there; we wander through the basement.
I am told to look through the window A submarine hole, Marc looks underwater, his white face Like a guppy poking through the sheet Priest rattles through some prayers I try to join Our Father but I cannot keep up.
-- Sheila Hageman is a multi-tasking mother of three. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter College, CUNY. She teaches Yoga, Creative Writing, Composition and Literature. She has been published in places like Salon, Conversely and Moxie.