Rafael Campo

January 22, 2020 Campo Rafael


No me miras,” she said, hiding her face,
the ER staring with its thousand eyes.
She cried, her sobs becoming visible:
tears sparkled, making spectacle of sight.

The ER blaring. With its thousand eyes
of stars, the night outside was watching us.
Dew sparkled. What a spectacle, the sight
of morning dawning in the parking lot,

the stars, the night grown frustrated with us.
I tried to visualize her retina,
like morning bleeding, flecked with dark red clots.
What little we can see inside of us.

I try to visualize her now, returning
to whatever shithole she was from.
How awful, what we see inside of us.
Self-righteously, her nurse asked, “Why such rage?”

Back wherever she tried crossing from,
her husband beat her up. She gazed at me,
while I still nursed my pent-up, righteous rage.
Don’t look at me! I thought, hiding my shame.

Rafael Campo teaches and practices medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Hudson Review, Image, New Criterion, Poetry Review (UK), Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. His new and selected poetry, Comfort Measure Only, will be published by Duke University Press in fall 2018. For more information, please visitrafaelcampo.com.