Monday, January 26, 2015

poem of the day 01.26.15

a cup of coffee

i’m watching the russian girl
behind the desk at the medical imaging center

she’s yelling at a frail woman
who’s head is wrapped in a turban or a towel

she’s saying
yeah, well i don’t speak spanish
i said, i don’t speak spanish

no one is getting their point across to anyone here

this place is a calamity and it’s hot
they have the televisions going full blast

it’s no wonder everyone has to shout

people are scattered
there are some sick and some who will be sick
most look scared shitless to be here

the receptionist in front of my wife and i
well, she hasn’t even acknowledged us yet

she’s too busy talking to the others
about last night’s variety show

apparently her favorite didn’t win

there’s a part of me that wants to grab her by the neck
turn her sharply toward us
give her a touch of the whiplash
tell her, hey, my wife’s hands and legs are shaking
so if you wouldn’t mind….

but i’ve been tamed by this world for too long
so we wait her out

finally my wife says, excuse me

the receptionist barks, wait a minute
before going back to her favorite television show

of course that’s when the delivery man arrives
and distractions abound anew

our receptionist gets off of her fat ass with a struggle
she yells at the poor mexican

where in the hell have you been?

he shrugs
there’s no point in talking to her over the televisions

she rips the bag out of his hand

it’s only a cup of coffee, for christ’s sake
it’s as simple as rain

she throws the delivery man a few bucks
then huddles the steaming cup under her desk
for sugar, milk, i don’t know

whatever she can do to keep my shivering wife waiting
another five minutes in this place

and i wonder if she’s ever had to have a biopsy

when the receptionist finally looks up
without a smile
with contempt for her station in life and ours

a look of smug, healthy satisfaction of her bloated face
and says, yeah?

as if we’re the ones being the burden

it dawns on me right then and there
how capable of murder i truly am.


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