Once Over With Air Piped In
Calm they come
scrubbed scentless issuing
directives I eschew but who
am I (insurance poor & fresh
out of band-aids back home)?
Reeking procedure, they wait me up
for measurement. Hiss of air
piped in tick tock too loud by half.
Out of reach Examiners play
Touch & Go with time => Send
lackeys in ahead to pull down
stretch of paper sheet & hand me gown
gone pale-thin from too many
hot water washing.
Change says they & I change
Tell me bottle needs filling
Say open a vein & be fountain
Spit milksop of history. I spit
Voila! my trainwreck
litany. See symptom checklist =>
X for yes initial here & here
at bottom sign:
Shall Speak Only As Spoken To.
Now they truss me up
for table ready (or not) & set
Doctor of Notes to crack
open the door & go groping.
Stirrups & poker up next on agenda –
Order me spread & I spread.
Eye To Eye
are you my doppelganger
or a piece of glass
little MEs reflected
in your eyes or hapless
fish in history’s net
the pupil dilates
drinking sidelong dust
from slats of light
I follow (dissolving)
an out-of-whack planet
tripped up in invisible moons
when substrate binds with enzyme
like bread crumbs
the circle reduced to a lasso of matter
a time-noose a bracelet
of chicken and egg
O second hand grab me
and hold on for dearly
O first hand unclench me
and let me alone
Becoming Mortal Man: The ForeGoing
They will OFFer your ashes at no extra charge.
We will ask for time to cogitate.
An amber valence overcoming. One step
from sepia greets us (a pLUG in
the wall with cord gone off kilter). The man
in the palindrome hat will recommend mahogANY.
Hustle us into a room in the back.
Stealth exit, a side door unDIGnified.
Back in the LOBby, he does Uriah Heap things
with his hands. Obsequious gestures
sidestepping discussion of low cost options
(your elbow digs into my left side).
We will tire of polishing hardWARe. Know the bronze
for no bargain, no throw-in.
Receipt in an unsealed envelope. Lid open –
but subtly. Next stop, the NEEDle procedure.
We will settle on the barebones special. Pauper pine.
The palindrome hat looks ASKance
(Drab as a fool, aloof as a barD). In sum,
the eyebrows have it. All sewn up. And SOon
we’ll be stuck
with the finicky lid. Warped so LITtle
pandoras sLIP out.
We will joke about dumpsters and ice floes.
Our sleep will offEND us.
Nina Corwin is the author of two books of poetry,The Uncertainty of Maps and Conversations With Friendly Demons and Tainted Saints. Her poetry has appeared in From the Fishouse, ACM, Forklift OH, Hotel Amerika, New Ohio Review/nor, Poetry East, Southern Poetry Review and Verse and has been nominated for the Pushcart prize. Corwin is an Advisory Editor for Fifth Wednesday Journal and curator for the reading series at Chicago’s Woman Made Gallery. She lives in Chicago, where she is a practicing psychotherapist known for her work on behalf of victims of violence.