It is not with the lyre of someone in love that I go seducing people. The rattle of the leper is what sings in my hands. Jane Kenyon

Sunday, February 25, 2007

In The Doctor's Waiting Room

In The Doctor's Waiting Room
" as if she had discovered
the train was bound somewhere;
as if the conductor
had told everyone on board
they never had to bear the weight
of being strong again."
from" Medicine"
by Tony Hoagland
It is like being in a railway
station, suddenly amnesic, unsure I have
arrived or embarking on a new journey.
On the wall a clock
that keeps station time, brusque hands
flagging away the hours, the minutes,
the seconds.
The patients are like
passengers, shoulders drooping from the weight
of excess luggage, an overnight bag
of lost dreams, a suitcase full
of travellers' vertigo, a trunk bulging
with memory aids and a map
showing roads of varicosities running
from volcanic ankles to Mt. Fuji knees.
Nearby the dispensary, where patients purchase
tickets, Anti-Histamines for a cold trip,
Anti-Hypertensives to high pressure destinations, Valium
to Nirvana, Cytotoxics to the Middle-East
of a malignant continent.
But what of my own
journey? Will it be like
the sleepers running until
the South tracks meet the North
station? Or will there be a
whiplash braking, a molten steel screeching
as wheels burn rails, a shearing
of the flesh of my dreams
from the bones of my sleep-walking
and two slippers, strewn on sleepers
announce my arrival at the station
where the
parallel lines