Lost Little Venus
In the bakery of a hospital OH THERE YOU ARE craftmatic catapults on shopping
cart wheels, white sails of Percoset. They called you by name, Janet or Louise (not
Louis because that would have confused the night duty nurse busy decorating
herself with menorah lights). Under clinical supervision and tabbed with a plastic
domino: L’Etat, c’est moi.
Louis or Maman, you have the sun as your call button. They are coming out like
anti-aging bars, feet-first, with no one to catch them in a shoebox and bring them
to the dinner table.
YOU FORGET WHAT DAY IT IS
There’s another room with its televisions torn out. A cafeteria overlooking the
Navesink, serving sloppy joes on embroidered pillows. The hospital is a Goodyear
float over Veteran’s Stadium, unmanned and with little hope of relief. BUT THE
DRIP. Here at the end of a hallway, a wounded horse.
Two pig-tailed girls holding up an old french mirror like a chupa so we can say grace
under it and give our OKAY. Little smears of blood reflect off our tie clips. Heavy
footfalls rattle the crescent instruments.
The dominos must have gone down like the 30th Street bridge when a tractor trailer
rolled over it. And her cratered arms, rough as a moon cut in half, took me into them.
I FOUND YOU, I FOUND YOU AT LAST
Windows snored inward, 3000-piece glass puzzles and gaping birds of paradise, pink
pills on the floor, oversized bathrobes, teddy bears clasped like vacation brochures,
breath over the intercom calling a code YES, THAT ONE her body spread across three
gurneys, the sky a river of darkness and stars.
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