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Arlene Ang

Someone said Detroit.
It was dim. And the body wanted to leave.
The windows drew x-ray chestscapes across
the linoleum. Here lay a sprig of sage,
there a backyard with broken swing.
Whoever it was didn't like plane trips.
In the vestibule, the body understood
and clicked the umbrella shut.
Fever manifestations became formless,
like heat. The porch light flickered
a sad aquarium tango; the whole world
submerged in anesthetics.
Slowly, the body learned to appreciate art:
the cantaloupe, the Sundance Kid,
the bone fracture in repose, the fictional grass.
Someone began singing upstairs
in the shower. It was almost tea-time.
The body paused to wipe its feet on the mat.
With both hands, the body touched
itself where the physician
lingered with the stethoscope—
cold, glittering pick—to eavesdrop
on that part where everything went wrong.

Arlene Ang

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