by Richard Hamilton



A sizable white nurse, male possibly
in his 30s at the ER asks me to recount
what happened. “So, what.

How did you end up here,” he asks
like an institution — monosyllabic,
terse, & assuming.

“You should have
made the clinic work-order
a priority.”

Globules, when the nurse
asks me, (anything

other than droplets, drops
or things institutions
find small and insignificant).
I can’t recall the better word,

“I was placed on antibiotics, spit
out with an order for chest x-rays.”
It is the local clinic where we all

go tired and penniless, poor
as mice.

“You don’t treat patients like that,” I opine.
“How could you know their situation?”

Like an elastic rubber band, he snaps.
“Now, look where you ended up.”
Like a pulp wood incinerator, he clamors.

“You could have driven yourself.”
“I don’t have a car.”
“There’s Uber and Lyft.”
“Please, no.”
He quips, “This is a hospital.”

Confederate monument
that can’t be toppled.

I grimace. Smirk.

“It’s also a nonprofit—human


organization, you
shit.” It comes out

like any useless mission



More poems

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *