Rescue 911: Denmark by J.H. Davis

Somewhere between heaven and nirvana
lies your icy cold kingdom.
We tried saving you with heated saline, epinephrine,
lidocaine, and a bed.
If you could rewind the years
I would teach you how to swim.
By signing some forms and waiting in line
your mother could have been told
your state was caused by manic-depression.
And yes, my dear Ophelia, there is a pill for that.
There are so many things to consider:
if your brother knew CPR;
if Horatio had summoned the paramedics sooner.
The timeline has come down to that.
Your temperature was only 89.4
when we pulled you from the river.
For a second, your lips were that perfect hue
of all the lapis in the world.
Before loading you in the rig
we swaddled you in willow reeds.
You were the last code I ever answered.
And I never looked at water
the same way again.


“Ophelia – Hamlet” image by Flickr user Mancera

JH Davis_PhotoJ.H. Davis graduated from Yale University in 2008 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps that same year. He saw action in Afghanistan as an infantry officer and executive officer serving in a Combined Action Advisor Team to the Afghan National Army. His awards include the Navy and Marine Corp Commendation Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon. He is an avid writer of poetry and prose and previously published in the Hawaii Pacific Review. He currently lives on the island of Okinawa, Japan, with his wife Jessica and yellow lab Carolina.