Dark Black Cherry Blossom,
7th Floor Angels (prose poem)
Dark Black Cherry Blossom
Have you seen the sparkle
of the pavement light shining
on the dark black cherry blossom branches
as it rains at night time?
as if dripping actual branches
as if you could find it
on the ground
as another new tree
7th Floor Angels (prose poem)
I was at the Hospital when I saw a man and thought he was an angel so I followed him. His face possessed an understated gentleness similar to the one used to depict trustworthy adults in picture books. It was as if the part of the world that had shrunk as I got older was suddenly at its original size again and all the things that inhabited it were no longer hidden from it. When something like that rushes back to you, you don’t let it out of your sight.
He took the stairs not the lift so I saw him ascending. We arrived quite quickly as if every step increased our presence. I followed him through many doors and not for a second was I worried that he was taking me the wrong way or that someone would mind that I came into their place without a nurse’s badge or a doctor’s badge or a cleaner’s badge to justify my being there.
He told me about the other angels without speaking. There is a network of them and they are spread out all over the hospital. Some are patient advocates, some have other missions. They are increased easily. A lofty thought creates their soul. A holy deed creates their body. Sometimes people create these deeds but without the right thoughts. Sometimes people create these thoughts without these deeds backing them up. The new angels then have to come into existence through a sort of Divine mix and match. A kind of celestial pregnancy takes place and 2 different people are able to combine their thoughts and deeds with each other to birth the same being, the same new angel. The largest group of them, known as a ‘camp’, is on the 7th Floor which is for Infectious Diseases. I said, ‘Do you do this with all your time?’
At that point, I stopped following. I was overcome by the need to leave my fingerprints behind. To have someone ask to see my qualification after all. I didn’t want to spend all my hours going up and down Hospital floors without ever being noticed or credited or praised. Without at least someone sitting up in their Hospital bed and saying out loud, ‘I believe now.’
It was like an instinct. It was a necessity. It was a drive. I turned him down. I wanted to affect the places I went through in life whilst he was content to be mistaken for the Hospital ‘wind tunnel’: the light breeze in the corridor, the physical equivalent of a faint murmur. I wanted to be seen like a miraculous bird with unfathomable colours on its wings, the patients transfixed by me, a source of wonder and fast recovery.
In fact, the angels help to oxygenate the entire building with their wings, theirs is a soft existence — too soft for me. That introduction: the guided tour that relied purely on intuition, doors opening and shutting so easily, a lattice of messengers who explore by heart; I let it end quite quickly. I closed that world behind me as they extended and then hid behind their wings, re-establishing their territory. It almost sounded like a deck of cards being shuffled.
The shores receded again. A hemisphere collapsed into diminishing points of latitude. It was like being the National Flower of Antarctica: everything that grows there is so rare, there’s no need to make something rarer. I’d rather be special. I’d rather be counted. Although I miss that seraphic secret. Just by me telling you this, I realise I will probably never see that angel again.