“Out Goes the Blot,” new poetry by David Kruger

 

I sit at the free clinic like a tailor stitching
a hidden nest in a jacket.

After the hat wag
after the chromatic
handkerchief I puke
as rainbow
after the scruff of white under-fuzz
to rabbit a glove,
the doves get out.

I imagine my veins as birds in the rafters.
I imagine my veins as after-magic,
akimbo, still sparkling but unattended.

Somewhere a ledger opens in my blood.
Somewhere there is antigen taking notes.

When I was a kid I ran
without shoes on
ant mounds
ready to pimple
in tectonic concrete
kicking that dust
to brown confection
or climbing the sycamore
in the yard,
its branches high
and arterial
in no direction

and flipping a magazine
in no direction on a plastic chair
makes me feel this again
if a bit heavier: in goes the needle
out goes the blot

and the nurses are quick
and the mind is all knuckles
as the magic card is drawn
and the birds drop down.
I tuck them back in my jacket.

David Kruger is poet in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he is working on a PhD in English.

Image: allaboutbirds.org

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