where are your friends?
that’s a real good question,
sir. I’m crouched in the back of the ambulance,
deluded and almost paralyzed,
swaying like i’m on a ship
knowing the possibility of fainting is near
if they don’t keep talking.
I’m asking in earnest  if they are gonna
kill me and he isn’t laughing but i do notice
the way he eyes me like I’m a
honey-dipped sweet on the long night shift–
palatable, soft,
without defense.
I’m then left in a wheelchair in the middle of
an electronic door, closing.

first I walked five blocks to get there
and he asked me four times what
skullcap was.
remember this part as it comes up again.

Im alone in the hospital
realizing you’re the snake they
warned me about and I’ve been
the well-worn carpet they walked on
to get somewhere then left
in an electronic door, closing.
male nurse pulls my shirt up
without saying a word to me
so my breasts are exposed to everyone
on the floor
as I’m answering for the seventh time
what skullcap is like
I had never said it to her
crying, six times before.

just listen to me.
it is hard to speak.

“ (and) Degradation”

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