Sometimes the Air Surrounding Me Is Sudden with Flowers
by Ander Monson
In the busy machine of the emergency room,
I talk with a man whose face is barely face,
is mostly laceration—accident-remnant
while driving his sister's car
that he stole while drunk and drove and totaled.
He's glad he didn't kill someone, he says.
We are surrounded by: black eyes,
blood blisters, broken legs,
bruises in the shapes of circus animals,
a variety of burns.
have something protruding from their feet—
fish hook, glass slab, syringe, syringe,
staples (22—!), bolt, real big nail, syringe.
At least there are no knives in eyes
or gunshot wounds as far as I can see.
We watch E.R. on the television above us.
They are always resuscitating someone.
The crowd cheers when this happens.
A man with a fissure in his arm
all the way down to the bone
sits next to me. This patient
is far more patient than I'd imagine,
considering the bleeding. I ask him if it hurts
and he says sure, what doesn't.
Someone says that Noah Wyle is a fine piece of ass.
I can't help but agree. This is what you do in civilization,
I have been told.
It is a week after the Fourth, and I fear that some kid
will stumble in with a stump of a thumb.
He will have deserved it, but still it's sad.
So much for that career in jazz.
I wait with my slow chest pains (I've read online
it's likely heartburn, so there is hopefully no hurry)
for my turn. It might never come,
since the injuries keep filing in.
It's as if I've never seen
the world in which I live before.
More serendipity...Newspaper article on the front page of the paper today.
Cycling accident tests couple's resolve