the greensboro women's hospital waiting room

one day I will forget, push the memory
hard enough to hit the bone of my skull
and explode into fireworks, quickly
spreading across the tile until they dull.

in the waiting room, waiting impatient
to be told what I know, what the blood means;
the nurse pricks me, I breathe the sterile scent
as she shows my gut on the blue screens.

"you are here," as if she shows us a map.
my uterus is a handout pamphlet,
fallopian highways, traffic mishap.
for the first time I want a cigarette.

your father is now dead and so are you,
but it's better than what we'd put you through.



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