Monday, May 1, 2023



He woke to familiar surroundings

This same bed, at the usual time

In the stygian hour before dawn

A quick confirmation of name and age

Date of birth, identifying sets of digits

Making sure the numbers match 

Then to the bathroom

To wash his hands

He washed his feet, his neck

His back and his face

His whole body glistened

Half wet, naked in jaundiced light. 

Before dressing he locked eyes

With the intractable apparition

Holding his gaze in the mirror,

That enigmatic innermost onion peel

Who never looked upon anyone else

And by no other eyes was ever seen 

And, once again, he accepted the fact

That this dead-eyed avatar

Of the real thing 

Looking right through him

And back again

Would, for another day, have to serve as himself.

Well, that was fun

But now everything's settled. 

This moment of truth would pass.

A long day of cases waited

In the theater of operations

Wounds to tend to

Holes to fix

Absences to fill

Abscesses to lance

Bad news to bear 

One thing at a time

He donned a gown

And tied on his mask

Sheathed his hands in latex gloves

Slashed the final “x” in the last box

Of the surgical safety checklist.

Are we all still alive?

Do we agree to pretend to understand

The mystical glyphs written in this book of collective life?

The antibiotics were given

A tincture of illusion

Scented our tea

Everyone had a “name” and a “place”

Some even came with “purpose”

Either received or seized.

We simply ask for focus

Stop what you’re doing and listen

This is a team effort

It takes a village

Everyone was in agreement

We could now safely begin 

Knife please, the surgeon whispered

Into the original silence 

Aching at the core of the mirror 


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