In the Waiting Room

magazines from a lost month litter the end
tables. A pretty nurse

pops her head in and says,
The doctor will see you now, though not

to you, and no one stands up—you are
the only one waiting.

But soon the doctor will cast the long shadow
of his diagnosis. You’ve got

a thorn in your paw, a toothache, chronic
wide eyes, fear of fear

of fear itself, time on your hands
slipping between your fingers,

lost lust, purgatory, online pain, short
straws, overexaggeration,

the tendency to list: short, fat, and forlorn,
ever inoperable . . . O to have

a nurse of your very own, a time-angel, someone
on the one and only payroll

to pass you the pill it’s always time to take, whose
rear your eyes can follow

to Happytown. But now, here, however,
you are skimming an article

about the viral video that sank New York,
then a profile of the man

who played the real-life Michael Jackson.
An article on who really profits

from most chilly wind. On the truth about
close friendship. On ten safe things

to open your mind to. You are an
Elizabeth! You are one of them!

Soon someone will call you in.

From The Trembling Answers. Copyright © 2017 by Craig Morgan Teicher. Used with permission of The Permissions Company, Inc. on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd.,