Judas

Courtesy: Ashley Sophia Clark

The body is the last part of us to die,
the stranger said, and I was too polite
to tell her it was a lie, I know, because
your body didn't even bring your final
betrayal, never mind the last of you who,
if it were true, would not have said,
three weeks before your body gave,
I don't want to live the rest of my life
like this
, as if it were an infinite arc
towards a diminishing horizon instead
of exactly the other way around, and
would not have levered your shrinking
weight against my arm until, by degrees,
you were standing in front of your
cloud bed, then walking six hesitant
steps to the doorway and another six
back again, my hand steadying the air
beneath your elbow—I would say like
our grandmother, but her body, too,
abandoned her, and before it got too
weak to stand on its own—and you
would not have slept in your salvaged
sable coat, saying, Sleep is its own
occasion
 and we could have starved
the tumors and fed your Judas body,
until, if we'd had time, you found
a way to step out of your anatomy
and your room and claim or reclaim
an unspoiled, untrustworthy burden.