The Gutter Saints By Ian C. Williams

The Gutter Saints

I’m afraid I can’t reach him
before lips part and eyes glaze over.
Stay alive just a minute more.

The shelter, the hostel, the usual
vacant alleys just as vacant in the shadow—
I’m afraid I can’t reach him.

Time drips past me like the gutter’s runoff—
the bridge, the riverside, the benches in the park.
Stay alive just a minute more.

Another child, eyes sunken in, gestures,
indicates abandoned apartments.
I’m afraid I can’t reach him.

Calling the ambulance, running
flights of shallow stairs—
stay alive just a minute more.

Pounding on the door, locked and bolted,
the sirens’ wail approaches, but
I’m afraid I can’t reach him.
Stay alive just a minute more.

By Ian C. Williams

Biography:

Ian C. Williams is an MFA student at Oklahoma State University. He has received the Florence Kahn Memorial Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies for his chapbook, House of Bones, and his poems have appeared in Blue Earth Review, The Altar Collective, The Appalachian Review, and Arsenic Lobster, among others. He lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with his wife, Bailey, along with their dog, two cats, and chameleon.

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