Calamine colored soft with kitten skinned thinness his eyelids slunk like wax paper
I still wonder if he watched me through them

At the bottom of the bar’s stairwell he was laid out
in jeans, New Balance shoes, summer jacket
his lips and fingertips glowed like newspaper ink stain
a server from upstairs hovered over us darkly smoking, losing tips

My hand came out with fingers touching cardinal points for puse thumps
with genital deftness
in slow economy of motion my fingers laid on his sinewed wrist his hollow throat
there, between our two skins, I felt the lift pause lift of a written confession’s brailled ink indents

An ambulance and cops came under myriad halos and I gave answers soberly
stood there by the empty generic Listerine bottle
as uniformed third shift went to work
their latex covered hands looking bleached, beautiful and new
creating a pentecostal laying on of hands

A young technician said there’s a pulse as he knit shoulders like lionesses
holding the man’s head and neck so as to not disturb nerves deep inside from sleeping
they rolled him decanting medical smelling mouthwash
from nose and mouth to lay on corrogated steel and concrete

The young tech shrugged amidst teasing that he’d mistaken his pulse for his
as though there was shame in wanting life for another so dearly you feel it

A miracle occurred later on the street
when between my fingers as if by sorcery
appeared a cigarette which glowed when breathed through