Lucie Brock-Broido
Some Details of Hell

        It is now time to turn off the devices in the wing
And listen to the rain. It is time, now, to sit still

        And run your finger along the suprasternum of
The truth as it arches above the viscera, and finally.

        It is a time when wires & catheters marked “single use”
Have most certainly been used before: cleansed

        And sterilized, but having spent time in someone
Else’s heart, they have been contaminant &

        Ruined. I was strong and could lift half
Of everything. I was powerful and could be alive

        And lithe as tiny scissors used
To cut out tissue in a human that had gone wrong.

        Hell is a world of its own, with its own
Towns and country-side. There I stayed beside your neatly

        Warm-blooded form like a brook mink in the clutch
Of a slightly larger animal & sat still, having

        Spent a moment in someone else’s marrow,
A diaphanoscope, catastrophic as the good love

        Of a tea-stained bride abroad the rain
Of saxifrage and clove, tomorrowing.

Found In Volume 30, No. 02
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Lucie Brock-Broido
About the Author

Lucie Brock-Broido was the author of Trouble in Mind (2004), The Master Letters (1995), and A Hunger (1988). Among her numerous awards were the Witter-Bynner Prize from the Academy of American Arts and Letters, the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, and the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from American Poetry Review. She also received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a Guggenheim fellowship.