my medicine

1. four others roll down university
before the signal allows me to follow suit
and i wonder
if somehow i might be back in portland
joining the mini army of morning bikers

2. back to life
back to reality
however do you want me
however do you need me
shuttlebus radio plays at 8thirty am
cannot help but think of 8th grade
joelene
new berlin
neon peace signs
and then i look up and notice
the grad student in the front of the bus
bobbing his head in his button up
and mouthing the words
his exterior mimicking my interior

3. missed connection:
dear klaus nomi poster wheat paster
i don’t know who you are
or what drove you to print the
klaus nomi has a posse
posters
but every morning on the way to school
passing the freeway underpass pileons
you make my day

4. your wellwishes
for my forays into western medicine
tucked into  backpack pocket

5. a doctor who doesn’t introduce herself
doesn’t make eye contact
launches into quick questions without patience for my complex answers
interupts me
leaves the room in mid-answer
is enough
to remind me
why i never wanted to have anything to do with the medical industrial complex
in the first place

6. it is the awkward paper shirt
(PAPER? as in,
you wear it once and then THROW IT IN THE TRASH?)
that makes me human again
while she looks at the curve of my spine
asks is this how you normally stand?
laughing
at the outright ridiculousness
because if i stood the way i normally stood
the paper shirt made of folds and angles
would slip its thin way off my
curved shoulders
and in fact
is already about to do so
which is to say
hell no
this is not the way i normally stand

7. are you taking any meidicine?
she asks
ibuprofin
i respond
while thinking
sun. forest air. tea. fingers in the dirt. cool clear water.
that is my medicine
though i would not call it ‘taking’

8. the xray man is kind enough
to scotch tape the paper gown (PAPER?
REALLY? AGAIN!?)
and drape a lead stole over my chest (to protect from breast radiation)
but it doesn’t keep me from wanting to cry anyway
because
as it turns out
i usually don’t trust machines
especially ones that can see through my skin
all i really want is healing
(warm hands pressed flat to back and someone telling me to  breathe deep while i do the same)

9. you offer
from austin texas
to rub witch salve
into my spine

10. seated eating gatawny soup
while the tiniest inchworm navigates the
cotton/suede surfaces of my
tennis shoe
how i walk it carefully
before plucking it off
into landscaped grass blades
how i feel it cling
to cotton/suede as i lift it
careful as i can
between two fingertips

11. disposable projects
is what we call them
to avoid getting precious about our work
but when you say the language is gorgeous
and repeat the line about
never building  your home in someone else’s body

i am listening

12. chris says it’s dead downtown
for a weekend
and moments later we are elevatoring up
to the third floor
just follow the smell
of leather

13. some people wear boots
so they can stomp
on others