In the hospital sunshine lit the floor.
Lucite doors slapped open and shut
for an army of staff in green scrubs
and patients in snowflake johnny gowns.
Your anxiety was understandable,
the brain is a delicate machine.
The man reaching in had the hands
of a stevedore, or Dr. Frankenstein.
Paper hexagons above your bed
were snowflakes, or meant to be,
cutout by children from the inner city.
You maintained till Christmas then
it all went south, pronouns, the present,
the past, and everything in between.
Both fenders rub, chain rust flakes off
with each pedal, but I travel
cross-city to visit a friend in tough
with cirrhosis, a losing battle.
I work up a sweat fighting traffic,
chain my bike with slick hands to a sapling
and drip when I knock on the door, and drip
when it opens and he bows there laughing.
How are you, besides yellow? I inquire
and he laughs some more but as he
ushers me inside the jollity expires.
He tells me to sit, bitches about the weak ac
with a catch in his voice: he’s tired.
Says he’s so tired. Must be the humidity.
Salvatore Difalco resides in Toronto. His novel Mean Season (Mansfield Press) was published in Autumn 2015.