Emergency Room, Almost Thirty Seven
by Rich Furman

They force tubes through your nostrils
and roughly shave your chest
in uneven swatches like cornfield
plowed by psilocybin farmers,
hook you to machines you cannot see,
the nurses calm as you contemplate
a life without you.
Who will attend the funeral?
How long with they keep your website up at work?
You are almost calm too.
You stare at a container on a shelf
written in black marker, dippers.
The doctor asks you questions
but you keep thinking about dippers.
Are they one size fits all?
Unisex, or one's cut for muscular squat legs-
think of Summo wrestlers dancing on your chest.
The doctor asks- heart or lungs?
How are you to know?
On a bike or making love
they always seemed to work together
but now you're not so sure,
three days before turning thirty seven.
When your wife enters you
ask her if a blood pressure reading of
200 over 400 is high
through feigned calmness and tearing eyes- yes dear it is,
and you tell her it sounds high and
thank god yours is nearer to normal,
and through your laughter she knows your ok,
or as ok as you ever were,
but maybe not,
and tears mix with laughter
thinking this could be your last night
wishing to hear the sound of the wind
or even your huge farting dog,
tears, pouring down your lips.

August 3, 2002

By Rich Furman

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