Louis, with his pain, is one long night, with his pain that whines like a siren on tv. 1-Adam-12, possible 2-11 in progress… He’s shat himself three times, and I can’t stop puking. Jerry, the orderly, is pissed. What the hell, Louis! There’s shit everywhere. You have any idea…
Louis has no ideas. Louis is circling the airport. They wheeled Louis up just after me — a nurse in green scrubs, an aid in blue at the tail end of a bad joke about a patient who had waffles for breakfast, bulimia for lunch.
Tonight’s guest star is Trini Lopez. Nurse? Nurse Eventually?
Whoever is at the other end of the dark hall comes, finally, with ice chips and Percocet for us both. Then Louis lolls like a rowboat on a heaving ocean while Officers Malloy and Reed deadpan through Van Nuys in a black-and-white ’72 Matador.
For me, the waves froth wide and deep.
About the author
Michael Steffen's fourth poetry collection, Blood Narrative, was recently published by Main Street Rag. New work has appeared in Chiron Review, The Comstock Review…Read the full bio
Issue 24 · September 2021
Table of contents
- Three Poems by Dinah Ryan
- Two Poems by Daisy Bassen
- Three Poems by Carl Boon
- Two Poems by Patricia Behrens
- Upon Entering the Unknown University
- Two Poems by Christine Potter
- Earthly Possessions
- The Overflowing Suitcase on a Bus Stop Bench
- Two Poems by Nathaniel Calhoun
- Blessing of the Animals
- Why Honey Matters
- Two Poems by Rimas Uzgiris
- Missing Buses
- The Trek
- Red Coat
- Watching a Late Autumn Thunderstorm
- Two Poems by Rick Mullin
- ON O’HARA’S BIRTHDAY
- I Travel Back in Time
- Postcard Prose