Hospitals are Great Places to Visit
- You do not want to enter but she has you by the throat.
At this point, you are not armed.
- Rose-colored building, 1950s art deco, long white
hallways, smells like under the kitchen cabinet, smells
like under a limey rock, smells like dirty handkerchiefs,
smells like dark cavities.
- A head on a white plate. A nurse holding it up by its
greasy tendrils, spooning yellow mash on to the cracked
pavement tongue. Watch the mash seep out onto the white
plate. Watch the bag underneath the bed fill with mud.
- A room with pale blue walls, dirty blue, corrosive blue,
pewter, blue that makes you want to weep, blue that
makes you want to bang your head.
- Listen as she chatters and clicks around the room in three-inch
heels: How about some air in here! Have you been
watching the French Open? Are you comfortable? Would
you like me to turn on the light? The doctor certainly
seems nice. I’m sorry we’re so late. We brought you some
ice cream. Do you think you can stomach some ice cream?
- Laugh. Asking a dying man…
- Duck tomahawk glare.
- Thirty years pass. Visit various heads in beds including
but not limited to: your autistic aunt, your homeless
uncle, your agoraphobic grandmother.
- Do Not Touch. Each one has been carefully preserved in cellophane.
- Arm yourself.
- Your cat should have known better than to stare you down.
- Killer heels.
- You will be frisked.
- A cylinder in back catches some of the black effluvium and another one underneath catches the rest.
- Did you watch the U.S. Open last night? Did you read
the life section today? I think I need a cup of coffee. Is
anyone ever going to change the garbage? Didn’t you
see this coming? I saw this coming. I’ve always known
how this would end.
Kelly Fordon is the author of three poetry chapbooks. The first one, On the Street Where We Live, won the 2012 Standing Rock Chapbook Award and the latest one, The Witness, won the 2016 Eric Hoffer Award for the Chapbook and was shortlisted for the Grand Prize. Her novel-in-stories, Garden for the Blind, was chosen as a Michigan Notable Book, a 2016 Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, an Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist in the short story category. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, was published by Kattywompus Press in February 2019. A new short story collection, I Have the Answer, will be published by Wayne State University in April 2020. She teaches at the College for Creative Studies, Springfed Arts, and InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit. www.kellyfordon.com
Tierney Bailey is a Libra, a lover of science fiction and poetry, and studies Korean in her spare time. Currently, Tierney is an associate poetry editor at Sundress Publications, a copyeditor at Strange Horizons, and a freelance graphic designer. Tierney earned a Masters Degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. Tierney is most easily found screaming into the void on Twitter as @ergotierney.