This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from Shade of Blue Trees by Kelly Cressio-Moeller, released by Two Sylvias Press in 2021.
Waiting for Charon in the ER
Bad news is always arriving. ~Adrienne Rich Make a fist. The ambulance ride begins with a deep poke into a surprised vein. Open. Close. Time-lapse photography. A lotus unfurling in my palm. I see sunlight breaking through crowns of eucalyptus, breathe oxygen through a tube. I’d recognize his face anywhere: paramedic Gauguin, Civilization is what makes you sick. Is that why your Christs are yellow and green? Yes, and blue trees. What of the red door in the forest? We are never out of the woods. Gurneys glide gondola-quiet through corridored canals. An oarsman ferries me into an X-ray room. His shark tooth bracelet clangs against the metal buoy. I want to dive into his seafoam scrubs, breaststroke into March. The doctor orders a rainbow belt of slender vials. She pockets my blood in her jungle print top, swings on a vine, disappears into Rousseau’s foliage. I don’t see her again for 2 hours. She’s consulted the gorilla who was sitting on my chest. I eat red Jell-O with a spork. Time drifts through saline solution. A slow drip counts the day’s small hours. I have the room to myself. So tempting just to lie there waiting, stock-still with a coin in my mouth.
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