In the urologist’s waiting room,
Joe hunches over a National Geographic.
Each page slams like sheetrock on a concrete floor.
A nurse smiles, beckons him into an office.
Heart fibrillation begins.
The doctor peers over a surgical mask
and furnishes a pep talk. Joe’s hands clamp
on the table; knuckles jut into the walls.
His eyes weld to an instrument tray:
scissors, tweezers, hemostats and some unnamed gadget.
A curved suture needle twinkles at him.
Doc grips a syringe–pricks, plunges,
then the scalpel . . . .
Joe stares into a ceiling bulb
and whisks into a phosphorescent tunnel
where rainbows arch, dissolve into bubbles,
and pop into pinwheels.
Something distant yanks
and Joe lifts his head. The doctor threads and tugs
a knot, removes a blood-speckled mask,
and hums while leaving the room.
The nurse takes Joe’s hand, guides him up,
and escorts him into the lobby.
At the door she leans toward his ear,
and invites him for drinks
at her apartment after work.