A.R. Dugan

CONTRAST


Now that there are no patients to envy / my beautifully shaped skull, / they put me

in the next waiting room, / alone this time. / Debris had peppered / the windshield

and it turned into sounds, / I tell the technician. Try not to move / your head, she

says. / I try to think of a new / beginning, but always come back / to the sign on the

door: / remove all metal objects / before proceeding. Then my head / starts to sting. /

I’d be invisible, but for the IV in your arm, / the tumor says. I’m really good at hiding. / I

thought we only used / like ten percent of our brains, / I tell the technician.
/ That’s

true, she says. / But you still need the other / ninety percent or your head / would

look weird.  Now, try not to sneeze, / or cough, or blow your nose. / Maybe I’ll just

hold my breath, / I think. But, / the tumor laughs, says I’m really good / at killing you

while you think / you’re resting. Tell me another / joke. Make me laugh / while you wait.

While we / both wait.
Debris had peppered— / the tumor screams / with laughter. 


                                    
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