charting my course

i have learned the language 
of phlebotomy —
about butterfly needles,
how many breaths will take me 
through a 14-vial collection & the art of waiting.

i have come to expect 
the dispassionate demeanor 
of specialists, the sound of starched 
white coats, the chill of exam rooms. 

sterile interpretations of antigens,
antinuclear antibodies & sed rates
have expanded my vocabulary 
if not my horizons.

weather forecasts have become meaningless,
the shortest day of the year too long,
yet somehow days continue to begin 
& end in rush-hour traffic outside my window. 

absent reason, i travel hope.

• • • •

Published in Stirring, Spring 2021 (Volume 23, Edition 2)
Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash