14 Feb

i waited for her at the hospital in the waiting room on the floor on which she stayed
and watched a team of slow-moving cancer patients go round and round
with their IVs hooked to metal poles on wheels.

they all wore bathrobes which were obtusely opened at the chest
showing scars and knife marks
punctures and bandages
holes and dark flesh bunched up together.

round and round they walked an invisible track
and sometimes they looked like harness racing jockeys
in slow motion.

when she came in she carried a white styrofoam cup filled with thin coffee
and complained the night nurse withheld her medication
probably to sell it down the line to some shitty addict waiting in the garage
in the sub-basement of the building.

want some? it’s awful, she said.
it was.
when’re you gettin’ out i asked
and she shrugged and when she did
her shoulders lifted the eviscerated flesh for a moment under her robe
for me to see that what it really looked like
was much like the impact point of a grenade that had gone off under her ribs.

jesus! she said when she caught me looking
and i pulled away embarrassed and flustered.
can’t they make a regular goddamn cup of coffee here?


2 Responses to “Sick”

  1. Erin O'Brien 19/02/2009 at 5:06 PM #

    I don’t even know how to comment. This is so painfully accurate. “People like that are the only people here.”

  2. (S)wine 19/02/2009 at 5:13 PM #

    i love that quote.
    thanks eob.

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