An I.V. and more

I went spiralling down into my friend’s surgery,

into the needle they stuck in his back.

Heard them say, Don’t move.

Felt the hard force of it.

Don’t move.

Went with his eyes to the lights later.


You should see him on the courts,

the balls he hits.

Or did.

In doubles you’d make sure

he was on your side.

You remember that game Operation?

With the tweezers and slots for bones or whatever? Well it’s not like that.

First you get naked in a gown. Then they wheel you off and it’s like a ride, especially when you bust through the swinging doors. Then a cute nurse asks you some questions (I got them all right). Then come the monitors (“I can handle this”) and the blood-pressure check (“I can handle this”) and the I.V. (“No, not that!”). Then they park you with all the rest and you wonder what everyone’s in for.

In the operating room it’s cool and they’re all smiling. You think you are, too, until they say, “Don’t worry.” Then they give you a warm blanket (“Nice!”) and say, “OK, time to sleep.” Then they turn on the I.V. and it’s like someone hit your wrist with a two-by-four (“OWW! What the- ?!!”). You stare at them and it in disbelief. Then you fall asleep.