Ryan Courtwright – Two Poems

Ryan Courtwright

Two Poems

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—
made it as soon as I could drunk.

Geriatrics (for Kids 6+)

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.

Picayune televisions
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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