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  • Brigham & Women’s, and: Good Enough
  • Christopher Robley (bio)

Brigham & Women’s

This day the gods of the Interfaith Chapel made do Without the usual offerings of grief and praise.

My father’s tolerance to pain has carried him this far. Momentum will do the rest—healing, as if by himself.

Wheelchairs outside, lined up like a clearance sale. Someone between revolving doors wipes the glass with Windex.

A guard halfway through the latest Car & Driver Looks up while nurses hurry past by habit.

Extra chicken cordon bleu in the café. Extra pie too. Gravel on tarpapered roof like an untouched Zen garden.

Early Spring impatient for Summer. And my father, Who can come home tomorrow, still up there on the 7th floor

In isolation one last blesséd day, his own lonely witness. How sad some miracles can seem when so few are there to see them—

Empty elevators. Stocked shelves of quiet storerooms. A thrush rustling a sapling’s branches near Entrance 2.

How waiting inside each car across the way Was a warmth that could hold you like sleep. [End Page 42]

Good Enough

When I flinched from a fastball my father shouted coward! The next night a school nurse phoned about my vision test.

He took it like some holy sign when she said, Nearsightedness?That’s an understatement. A long kind silence followed as we watched,

beyond the slope where briars brace the farmer’s wall, fireflies flash & blur in syncopated flux beneath the sagging heavens.

Like wet slides under a cloudy lens, whatever mystery they yielded up together, almost as good as proof. It was good enough. Good enough.

What’s the big deal about detail? I had one big bioluminescent sky. Once I watched the wild, erratic flicker of an almost aqueous dark.

Now that distant scrim of vaulted starmilk always comes unmixed— bright & tiny lightning bugs; clear, numbered constellations.

And across the knoll’s flank, where a cold new light slants upon the farmer’s wall, a shadow of thorns scratching stone. [End Page 43]

Christopher Robley

Christopher Robley splits his time between Portland, Oregon, and Maine, always longing for the other. He plays music on the West Coast and writes poems on the East. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.”



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pp. 42-43
Launched on MUSE
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