November 2015 - Comments Off

Kevin Hughes

QUICKIE

He buries himself inside myself
the way we buried the lone patient—
a ward of the state—quick
with as few sentimental words as possible.

NOTHING INHUMAN IS ALIEN

Dear Patient—

The absence of red on your door—red for blood, for healthy organ, for Do Not Resuscitate—was the reason I crossed its threshold, to intubate your mechanical lungs. I opened the mouthpiece, removed the blue-plastic bronchi, & bagged the atmosphere into your trachea. You were flat-lined, as in dead opposite of labile, with the spittle of tongue lolling down your chin. I tinkered with the circuits of your respiratory system while a woman, who you once mistook for your domestic whore, cracked your ribs like branches & leaves rotted beneath her hands. The turbidity of your urine hissing from your sheets nearly caused our own asphyxiation—we found reprieve through your heartbeat—we grew tired of our labor. The Charge Nurse, Monarch of this realm, signed your departure & had you whisked alive beyond our walls in the haze of sirens & flashing lights.

No Longer Yours,
‘that Tinkerbell’

Published by: in Issue 1: Fall 2015, Poetry, Volume 72

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