Decensus / Mark Mosley

I asked if you were positive?
You closed your eyes saying

Yes, I am. Taking it personally
at the time of our last supper.

Unsure if shame was just
the infection of a relationship.

Everything went to hell
while it was Friday still.

Keats saw it in his palm,
blood that changed the world.

On the other side, the invisible
exploded into death.

Kids say, “going viral”
but no one really knows

how to respond to that now.
So we gamble with belief.

Three days later we look
across the morning to hear

a cry of torment or freedom
sounding so much the same.

Uncertain if we can trust
to see the dead at a distance,

a thin fabric between this
and that, a gown or shroud,

as untouchable as light
in this immediate darkness.


The Poet

Mark Mosely has resided in Wichita, Kansas for almost 30 years with his wife and five children. He serves an emergency medicine physician with a MD from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, a MPH in nutrition from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans after graduating with a BA in English from Baylor University. His poem, “Impressions of Bathing,” won the William Carlos Williams National Medical Student Poetry Contest in 1988. His work is featured in Clearing Paths: A Darkly Bright Anthology of Verse (2021). 


Decensus: Copyright 2021 by Mark Mosley. All rights reserved.

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