Now my concern is whether or not my lungs will fill
or my heart will stop, if I’ll be struck within
by a cytokine storm, if the world will become more wrong,
if the deaths of so many will have meaning—
what I will say if I was brought out in the final judgement,
standing in a hospital line with gown open in the back
and listening to my sentencing by a living Byzantine icon.
My defense is these: lemon trees, moonlight,
brown carpet and low roof, rain, sorrow, love,
the taste of salsa and beer, the winding
of my life around a stem that I hope
gave the structure for me to drink in grace.