The doctor is a white bird
Under a fluorescent sun.
I am a little frightened fish
Half mermaid, half undone.
He asks, "What brings you in today?
What do you mean by appearing here this way?
Have you had anything to eat?
Grasses, communion, meat?
Have you ever wondered how a raindrop stays round?
Or why they always fall?
What's the big attraction with the ground?
How old are you? Any idea at all?
Out to their families?
What drugs have you taken?
Can you tell me?
Did you bring them?
Can you speak?
What did your father die of?
What did your relationships die of?
Or do they still persist?
Is there anything I've missed?
When you were a child,
Any fevers, coughs, or chills?
Was there one particular day
When you were most desperately, painfully ill?
When your heart beats,
Is it like a Chesapeake & Ohio train?
Are your ribs the track, your legs the trestle?
Does it rattle through your brain?
Or is it more like the lazy waves
Rolling in off the lake in July?
If you remember the time you had a hand to hold,
Will you act the girl, and cry?
None of this is exact.
None of this is free.
How do you like the paper gown?
Are you afraid of needles, sharps, and pokes?
Do you think you could go like this, for me?
Do you think this is a joke?
You can get dressed now, we're done.
Did you feel the need to pray? To dissociate? To come?
It's all normal.
Take three of these.
Call the desk with questions, or if you start to seize."
The doctor is a white bone,
His diploma terra cotta;
And I am a little frightened fish
Slipping back into the water.