It’s a nuclear afternoon.
An old lady
standing in the pharmacy line
sobs: “I already know
what they’re going to tell me.”
You dab sweat from temples,
plead to God you don’t black out,
steer your mind to a bath at home, chamomile tinged.
Mortality mutters triumphant.
The urge to flee builds like an overfull bladder.
A display of artificial tulips near racks of allergy pills
bouquets electric yellow.
The doctor told you there are four absolutes:
alive; dead; pregnant; not pregnant.
At home, knowing there is no cure,
you swallow what he prescribed.
Water flows, fills the tub.
About the author:
Wendy Gist has had her poetry and fiction featured or forthcoming in Amsterdam Quarterly, Canyon Voices, Glint Literary Journal, Grey Sparrow Journal, New Plains Review, Oyez Review, Poetry Pacific, Red Booth Review, Soundings Review, The Fourth River, Toad Suck Review, Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought and many other fine journals.