Ryan Courtwright – Two PoemsRyan Courtwright
In the Waiting Room
Draw open your belly, let me see what’s inside: red tube emissions,
baby cheeks, and lesions; a pair of nipples like broken padlocks
rasp at the gown’s pulsometer—streaked hospital glass,
nerves of the waiting room crayon the distracting
fluid half naked children can sip,
floating voices wriggle—lost ships keeling.
The news is that the news is these are real pearls,
not the kind you shove up your ass. The light begs
surgical steel passing behind my eyes &
metalloid sounds of scraping feet and squeaking
gurneys, sorry I showed up already forgetting—Geriatrics (for Kids 6+)
made it as soon as I could drunk.
He was old and his cheeks were bags of change,
snow retreating wherever he went
brown halos on coffee tables followed.
Grunting and creaking he moved,
a carcass of rusted metal
dragging me to bazaars with no curfew.
Told me sit up straight and bump hard
into the man so he doesn’t feel your
hand in his back pocket—
swindling money by hustling pool,
when I was your size a cigarette
stuck to his bottom lip wagging
a punishing finger at me &
toppling to the ground,
it’s in his liver—flooding.
yammering in every room of
sex in public—what would he look
like naked? What’ll I look like when
I’m that wrinkled? The slow hand’s perpetually
accelerating—chasing you down he said
in the end you only know 2 kinds:
alive and dead & I never
plan on joining the latter.
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