Broken Fingers

There’s a T.V. in the waiting room
that swaps between a cooking show
and hockey fights. A little something
for everyone I suppose while we all
sit quietly with everything that’s wrong with us.

I hear the doors behind the desk
burst open and the rapid wheels of a stretcher
scrape through the corridor. A woman bleeding
with car shrapnel in her side
is taken to be treated in the backrooms.

I wish my first thought about this wasn’t
envy that she got to cut the line, but rather
that she didn’t have to suffer more than necessary.

Someone asked the old man
at the front desk what happened to her,
and in spite of the confidentiality
he told us she was driving high on something.
I didn’t want to know that, in fact, I didn’t want
any of this.

It’s only a couple broken fingers
from a fight that I can’t even
remember the start of.
I feel the tape I wrapped around them
and squeeze until I feel the separation
in the bones, and though it hurts
I know it’s nothing in comparison.

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