Monday, May 16, 2016


After the Mayo Clinic
with apologies to James Wright

Just off the highway from Rochester, Minnesota,
my wife bounded from the car to throw up on the grass.
And the voices of those two Indian doctors
reverberated in my mind.
We had come gladly out of a small city
to meet Drs. Patel and Kumar.
We struggled from parking lot to hospital,
where they had been studying her lab results, alone.
They tensed when we walked in, greeted us quietly as dry mouths.
They could hardly conceal their dismay.

We love each other.
There is no loneliness like ours.
At home once more,
I munch through a bag of chips in the dark,
but I would like to hold my wife in my arms,
for she has leaned against me
and nuzzled my left ear.
Her skin is mottled like an Appaloosa,
her wig falls askew on her forehead.
The dark room moves me to caress her long neck
that is rough with sorrow like the clothes of a homeless man.
Slowly I realize
if I buried my wife tomorrow, I would be an egg falling, blossoming
into brokenness.

by Tracy Mishkin
in volume 4 issue 2

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