In the waiting room with María. María once a doctor. María wants
to tell me a secret. Can I help her with her hospital gown? María consumes
a white round self-prescription. Her mind wanders. María wants.
Can I keep a secret? For you, María, I can. María says what
María used to do. María once a doctor. María faded now
before she gets radiated. Can I hold onto her rings? Her gold necklace?
María used to save those who came to her. María once a doctor. Saved lives for free
and all in quiet. María once a savior. I call for the doctor. María’s drifting. Save her.
In front of the ocean with María. María a savior. María says I better
watch my back. That death growths there; trust her. If the shape of things changes,
she says, I should call her. She’ll do it for me: a mini-miracle. María miraculous.
María, your girl. María my girl/our girl/everyone’s girl. Here comes the wave. I hear it say:
I know. It already knows how it all goes down. María’s got her ear to it.
At the mall with María. María so humane. María asks which
handbag should she get, and I know she’s dying so I say the loudest one.
The most expensive one. María takes me out for steak and lobster
at a chain restaurant after. María so calm about it all.
Over a chocolate martini, María says: God
doesn’t make ugly, not even in death. But. So hard to have faith; I know
I’m bringing her down. María gives me a mantra: may God
forgive me for being a nervous wreck.
KIMBERLY KRUGE is a poet and translator and the author of High-Land Sub-Tropic, which won the 2017 Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, Copper Nickel, Poetry Northwest, Puerto del Sol, The Denver Quarterly and many other publications. She is the recipient of a residency fellowship at the Millay Colony for the Arts and the founder of Comala Haven, a workshop and retreat for women writers. She lives and works in Guadalajara, Mexico.