Tuesday, February 10, 2015

poem of the day 02.10.15

name in lights

the doctor has got his name in lights
behind a desk in a glass structure
in the posh part of park slope, brooklyn

it must be costing him a fortune in lives

it’s not even his own name
it’s his father’s but he’s inheriting it
when he takes over the business

the doctor has got all of his papers spread out on his desk
you can barely see them with all of these lights

he tells my wife
oh, most doctors without their name in lights
will tell you that you don’t need chemo for a cancer like this

but me?
i want to give you the full blast of it

hair loss, pasty skin, mouth sores,
low white cell count, possible heart problems
the future fear of bone marrow cancer and leukemia

all for the sheer joy of staying alive another thirty or forty years
and letting them work you until you’re dead

a lot of doctors won’t do that for you
but i will because i’m pro-chemotherapy

i wonder if the doctor has ever had the poison himself
has he ever taken a drink of anything that tasted like gasoline?

the doctor’s got pictures of his kids on a shelf
a picture of his wife but no wedding ring
just in case a hot cancer skank comes waltzing through the doors

i look at the ceramic doodads on his desk
multi-colored bowls and mugs that say, world’s best dad

he looks at me and smiles through the glare
he says, if it were my wife or if it were my family….

the doctor says his patients are like his family too
that’s why he’s recommending the full-on chemotherapy
all of the poisons he can push through my wife’s system

i try to forget about his name in those big lights
his posh office and his expensive suit

my wife still kind of crying in the seat next to me

as he rises to shake my hand
and tells me that everything will be fine

with a smile as wide and white as those light
as big and heavy as ahab’s motherfucking whale.


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