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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Parrish - July 9, 2010

Across the table you lift the
corners of your mouth in a
wry smile sparing me the sight of
your edentulous upper gum,
souvenir of years sleeping on
the streets of Atlanta.

Sunken coals, eyes dilated by
drugs to keep you sane reveal a
distant twinkle so soon gone I
wonder if it were ever there.

Tan in spite of long days in
hospital, drugged, alone, sedated
iv bags hanging over your head
needles stinging your arms, streams of
of fire coursing through your veins
only a TV to pierce the
tightly packed gloom of

....you pick at your food.

Tucking your hand under the table,
you hide the hideous hole, the
wound surrounded by scarlet skin,
a small pocket of pus at the
center of a tender target
born of the poison that could have
killed you.

A Brown Recluse

Tears collect in my lower lids
slide down my cheeks, splash shame
onto my plate. You, the wounded,
reach across, take my hand in
yours, stroke it softly, smile your sad smile.

“Tranquilo, Mama, tranquilo.”

© Claudia Schlottman July 24, 2010
Revised February 13, 2011
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