Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2019  Vol. 18 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview

Diorama (a moment with the doctor)

The story needs to get going.

He picks up one of the smoky vials on the shelf.
He isn’t motivated solely by wanting to control the blonde girl.
He gives other people chemicals he doesn’t understand,
takes some himself.

On his pre-dawn walk, the doctor diagnoses himself
with having a heart like a trellis.

He asks that you don’t laugh at him
as he stands on the night-wet sand to undress.
He never wanted this moment to be recorded.
The water is dangerously cold. The morning is still
except for the low murmur of narration.

He wishes he could be like the other townspeople
and refuse to create names for the crimes he wants to keep committing.
Sarah, Jane? Behind him,

the town is curled up, kicking inside the countryside,
ready to be born. Such a fine, pine-backed thing
that can take his medicine and live.
Imagine catching that wet head as it emerges.

He’s in the water now, up to his chest.
He lifts his feet.  

return to top