Sunday, November 27, 2005

Subtle mean

Subtle Mean

I hate it when she grins at me like that --
I hate her teeth, they are tiny,
numerous and pointy
like those in the mouth of a piranha.

I’d imagine they are very efficient
in tearing the meat off my bones.

I stretched my lips in the direction of a smile.

“So what you are doing nowadays”, she asked,
smacking her words, “Are you happy where you are?”
She laughed, sounding like a C note being played
repeatedly on an broken piano. I answered her,

“Yes. I am happy.
Much happier.”

I regretted answering at all.

“Has the moon set on the horizon,
for you and your friend Henry?”
she jabbed, a snub in the form
of a question, a private joke
within the boundaries of small talk;

just to see how I’d react to the name,
not the question.

“It is, as it is.
The matter is closed,” I answered
an answer meaning, as much
as the question, nothing.

She grinned again,
her pointy little ivories

Saturday, November 26, 2005


I never saw the patient,
only her room,

a sterile concrete cube,
with a single window
dressed in ghost-pale curtains
to prevent too much sunlight visiting,

a single bed,
the rippled sheets,
broken lines outlining
where she slept;

her lunch cooling on a tray,
unfinished; a cup of water
beside a coloring book,

A box of crayons,
red and green missing,
lay flat on the table
by the bed. There,

I found what I came for:

her blood. I grabbed
the tubes, then walked –-
ran –-
down to the lab.

“Process this one right away”,
I told the white coats
running the blood work,
“it belongs to a child.”

My supervisor tapped her finger
on a stack of case sheets,
“So is this one. Just
put hers in
like the rest.”

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Head problems

Major headache version

The Angry Prisoner

Like an angry prisoner
locked up in a cell
He rattles at the gate
and tears up the bed.

He keeps me from writing,
his screaming cripples me;
he bites on every nerve,
and chews on every vein.

He claws against the walls
that hold him within
until his nails are jagged,
his fingers bleeding.

I want him released,
but I don’t have the key.
The prisoner swells in pain,
his suffering becomes me.

Minor headache version

The Spoilt Child

Like a naughty child
grounded to his room,
he shouts from the window
and jumps on the bed.

I’d like to ignore him,
continue my writing,
but I can feel him
scribbling on the walls.

He stamps his little feet
across the wooden floor.
He throws his toys about,
destroys the color blocks.

I put on some music
and read to him a story,
but at every word or beat
he digs his nails into me.