Diagnosis

So how will it end?
You want it straight?

He looked me in the eye:
You will lose weight,

Become more and more tired.
This kind will not enter your bones or brain.

I stared at him, ravished.
Could not pluck my eyes from his old man face.



Later the cuneiform earth
Skimmed in snow

Inviolate bones
Torn ligament of language.

A skeletal beauty
Stars still uncover.



Come dawn a young doctor
In reddening shirt sleeves,

His voice quick, prickly undersong—
No grandeur here,

Just breath assuaging its own battery.
Flash of sempiternal spring?

A bus ride, M98 jolting along Lex
Under the El latticework of light—

We must get you well again,
Set you free to summer.
More Poems by Meena Alexander