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Immediate Care on Saturday Night During a Blizzard
[ January 11, 1997]

immediate care,
the sign says,
not emergency,
shades of meaning
too perplexing
for the sick to decipher.
Japanese TV
perched on high
among empty seats
in the area
where waiting is art,
shows Japanese
snow monkeys,
troupes of quadrupeds
with shaggy gray fur
scraping for life,
their hominid faces
rouged by effort,
the same faces
we see daily
in the rust belt,
bitter pickings,
our fruit frozen
half the year.

through iced glass
green slate walkways
saturday night empty
I smoke outside,
make boot sole prints
in flufferous snow,
art arising
from cold urges,
lonely moments,
something inside us
refusing to freeze.

arctic jets blow
silver dust through
halogen lamptops,
making ghosties.
vehicles parked
between gray walls
of broken ice
plowed in to piles
like bodies after
ethnic cleansing.

distant voices bark
snowthrowers wanting
community of  kind,
like gray wolves
that used to be
here in ultima thule,
dna tinkerers
need to grow fur
on our elastic flesh,
dense,hollow hairs
to trap air
and ideas.

I carry curiosity
in my jacket
like extra Kents,
pull it out when
need arises.
I check the roster
of in-and-out patients,
see a name,
a woman known
for certain predilections,
a fornicatrix,
signed in before
I imagine meeting
her at the exit,
inquiring of her health,
am told, "The doctor,
his name is Zachary?
Gave me a bolus
of semen vaginally?
and now I'm fine?
I like my medicine
when I need it most?"
An uplifter
which takes us back to meanings,
a good place to leave it
with snow still falling.

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