Wednesday, April 8, 2020

dropping my book

call Grandma to
     open the door on dark
the desert mystery
  in her day they never ran out of equipment
    everything was reusable
now they use cheap plastic crap
   why'd they make that switch anyway?
we wouldn't be in this mess
   she had a shift running bedpans
and sharps through the autoclave
    I'd dip the gloves in germicide
and line them up on this rack 
  wrap up a bundle of thermometers and
shake them in disinfectant
    the metal hypodermic needles 
could be sanitized too 
   you filled them from vials 
with rubber stoppers

    she slips into a memory
of walking in on a fellow nurse
injecting morphine in the bathroom
     she had been refilling the vials 
with sterile water
     the hospital tried to cover it up
put her up in a room on another floor
    with a regimen to ween her off
I went in to administer her dose
   she had all the lights off and said 
"no no don't turn them on, just 
    use a flashlight or something"

the dark

then Uncle Henry
   sneaking out of the house
she drops the image of
   the open window
curtains blowing


slides into another story
of Mom conning her out of some cash
a feast's worth of groceries
for a fake party
she slipped out to pick up
an imaginary implement
and didn't come back
5 o'clock
   6 o'clock
7 o'clock
  and she wasn't home
no guests either
 the sun was setting
I called the cops 
they couldn't do anything
but tell me there hadn't been
any accidents on the highway


in bed fading
after the chapter on Palestine
....apartheid... a convo......
our Palestinian boss at the restaurant
...sandy stone walls &Kayla
     the hanging gardens of Haifa
bombs over busses
dropping my book

a classic storm at midnight
cymbals crash in the alley
white light
then I'm in a wet city
  like New Orleans
where you ride an elevated train along the waterfront
called "Aldonius Avenue"
     painted tugboats and scrappy houses
     heavy plaster columns
with decorative yellow and green dragons swirling up their trunks
    coming slanted out of the canal
fallen by design
    we ride to the southernmost tip of town
a ferry depot
   grand like an opera house in the mist