45 (miracle cure)

Is this the exhibit to the conquered?

Is this where I come to see my old friends

chopped to messes, plagued with poxes?

Is this where I find strangers I don't like

crucified on refrigerator doors

that aren't mine, that nobody will touch,

that sanitation just leaves on the corner,

bloody and mildewed, handle set in rust?

Is this where someone else's palsied life—

shrieking and whining—is better left mocked?

Is this where I come to kick the sickbed?

Where the gumball machines dispense skewers?

Is this the place for the miracle cure?

first published in the anthology Devouring the Green (Jaded Ibis, 2015)