They lay the old woman in the back seat of a car,
propped her there with pillows, packed
Necessities in the trunk. They drove through the town
where she’d lived for ninety years, passing
Banked azaleas, flags, an old bigot walking a dog,
the church parking lot of smoking slag, a street
Of shacks where children threw stones at a mangy cat.
They stopped at the clinic, where a nurse came out
With her injection. She would drift to the distant city
on a riptide of chemistry. Never to return
Seemed nothing. Never again faded in some oceanic
false recollection. What mattered now was the journey,
The horizon of unknown, shining buildings, the blaze
of hecatombs touched off in memory of the great departed,
The painless angels with their so far unmapped cruelties.