The Doctor Is In

But he is not ready for you.

He’s with another patient

whose voice you can hear like a warm

spot on your chest wall.

It’s lonely in this room

and you are afflicted. Nothing

those tiny dead clouds

in his Q-tip jar or his overabundance

of tongue depressors can do for you.

The metal scale in the corner stands erect,

posture perfect. You stand and weigh

your winter weight, then sit

and straighten yourself on the examination

table, hands on your knees

like an altar boy, preparing for what

is or is not coming through the door.

Your chart is on the counter,

a synopsis of who your body

has been, friend and foe

down through the ages.

He’ll look at it without explanation,

because he doesn’t want

to embarrass you or bring attention

to how impermanent you are, how temporal

we all are, even Dr. Williams,

the upright man who knows

how to grip a shoulder and leave

quickly, taking none of the air with him.

You’re fine, he’ll say when it’s over,

just keep doing what you’re doing,

though he doesn’t want that.

No one wants that. He won’t even

give you a pill to keep you

going into the next week.

Please, Doc, do something,

is what you would like to say

but no, you’re calm and still

while the rain falls on Grand Army Plaza,

the sky sick and damaged, like you

who opened your mouth and drank from it.

(first appearance in Eclipse)

One Response to “The Doctor Is In”

  1. I savor, lead to I discovered exactly what I used to be having a look for.
    You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day.

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