Issue 158, Spring-Summer 2001
You love when the oak leaves shimmer like silver,
and you love the Emergency Man.
You hear him running, the blood in your veins
in the cold dawn.
He's on the highway, then at your doorway,
now his face in the frame of your window,
hand on the light switch, foot on stair,
foot on shadow.
A medical tickle, he's come to repair
your no no no, the base
blot in your brain, your ganglion briar,
your stumbling pulse
abuzz with dirty frequencies,
your kisses, wrinkles,
Ailing, alien, alone,
are you ill in your ear or in error?
He presses his stethoscope to your hand,
pulls a pill from the air,
he tastes your tears, taps the burl of your breast,
and he feels the cool curls of your bones.
His fingers press through your skin
where the ground opens.
And every moment's emergency,
all your atoms singing his name,
what a wonderful crisis, crickets sing in the grasses,
the clock goes numb—
the stinking weed he uproots from your lungs,
the snail from your skull, aphids
he plucks from your liver, your thick blue-black,
your little fits
of minor thunder—he takes you away
and leaves you limp,
your head full of light,
the beam of his lamp.