because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

medicine/health

just another suicide poem

you don’t want to read this.
untethered and still in tangles, some words
should only ever be sung at song’s end.
for some hurts, there are no words.
here. put your finger just…
here. where it pulses.

feel the slow.
red-black, it giggles
as it drips from skin to
brick-l(e)aden sheets.
you don’t want (anyone)
to read this.

they’ll take away your shoelaces,
your plastic knives.
but then, what’s a razorblade
when all you need
is the will to stop
breathing?

for some pain,
there is no air.
i know these things,
the giddiness of a dripping
pulse. trust me, i’m
a doctor.

here. they’ll take away
your shoelaces
and you’ll walk barefoot,
without dignity.
but they won’t let you
leave. you’ll walk hobbled,

in small circles,
barefoot,
broken.
like poetry.
your story
on some stage far from here,

another bleeder.
here. as it gushes.
trust me, i’m
a poet. feel the slow,
the red-black breath
of forever

a single, beaten tomorrow
that will never
be yours again.
read barefoot,
untangled,
how it gushed

(in the end),
how they wouldn’t
let you leave.
broken, the whole world
will applaud, crying in the end (;)
you don’t want to read this.


untitled

i think i am in love
with little plastic needles, sterile
blues, the arrogance
of early a.m. overhead
lighting; size 6 latex
gloves that know
the thrill of a one-
handed knot
in 2-0 silk, over
and under
and over again;
back pockets
stuffed with blunt scissors &
stethoscope & note-
cards that read
like a map through
heartache:

the femoral nerve
courses laterally
to its artery as it passes
the triangle of Scarpa.
blood enters the liver
at 1500cc a minute,
mostly through the portal
vein, whose pressure
should not rise more than
5 millimeters of mercury
above the pressure
of other veins. neurogenic
claudication causes
pain on spinal flexion,
comes from central
locomotor stenosis.

other things too i
knew, that i would have
learned harder
had i thought they
could save you…

some nights
i miss those mornings,
sunless & taped
into narrow tubing
with adhesive
that still pulls,
even now.


Kandahar

Dark clouds march across blue skies
like battle lines drawn in damp cotton.

Below,
a quiet frenzy in other azure
as surgeons sort glass
shards from bleeding veins,
debride the dirt
from twitching muscle and
sew a soldier
together
again.

Someone had sadly forgotten to tell him
the war was winding down.


untame, still

Her eyes
are like young mares,
dashing wildly for some escape
to the chains her body has thrown round
tomorrow, tying it down
to this sad bed, these muted
walls.

It wasn’t like this,
once.

There was a house with a garden
and a man who tended it.
He planted figs in the side yard
and brought home fried chicken for lunch on Sundays.
Together, they sat by the lake
and in the summer, the kids would
feed bits of stale bread to the ducks and turtles,
or string them on the old cane lines
to catch little sunfish.

There was no pain.

No drifting off into morphine clouds where
maybe, she still dreams of these things,
of painlessness.
Can she smell summer in her sleep?
Taste blackberries? See the walk
lined with purple flowers, hear
the wind over the water?
She scratches at the oxygen lines
as if at mosquito bites, moans.
Her eyes, underneath
pale lids, are like young mares
searching for some lost meadow.
Can she hold my hand
and remember
him?


anaesthesia

vagabond
winds with
fingers dipped
in newsprint and nerve-
endings massage
sunlight into
skin and cortex, injecting
overdrive analgesic
with an 18-gauge
straight through
hippocampal
hang-ups
to the core of
my soul,
a morphine drip
of wireless silence
leaving
me with the
sweet-ish
feel of
a spring
morning’s
blissful nothings
unplugged from
the lower back
pain
of a world
on its edge.


she woke up without bruises

godless and unchagrined,
he exhales in satisfaction
of the smooth metal’s
bevel as it perforates
an imperfect knotted
border between
ecstasy and dismay;
this is penetration in its most
visceral sense, the delicate hairs
covering her forearms
chilled and on edge;
it’s almost sensual, slipping
like poison into veins
opened for the embrace
of a cure, the sterile admixture
of stainless steel melted
by the heat of her blood.

as many such instances
it’s over almost before it’s begun,
leaving an ache of anticlimax and only
a few precious drops on the
rough cotton sheets,
soon swept away by a need
for decency
and an orderly’s ungentle hand.


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