A Rumor Of Mortality

He put on a tie for the appointment, carefully knotted it
though while rounding up his necessaries
from the scarred top of the old, painted dresser
he dropped his keys twice and decided to take the bus

His feet were cold inside his thin socks,
inside his polished shoes and his teeth kept clattering
even though it was a warm day. stops proceeded
in the orderly way they were designed to occur

Stepping down onto the pavement he felt
he was on an escalator and the dirty gray expanse
just an illusory doorway to hell. his knees buckled
and he staggered toward the commuter crowd

To be rescued by a girl out of a science fiction movie:
pale face, black clothing in contrasting layers both card-stock
thick and diaphanous, a broad blue band through her septum
and the scent of delicate flowers she wore like a shawl

Quicker than he could register her presence, she dropped
her bag and ducked a shoulder under his armpit
catching him, keeping him up, hugging him round
until he could stand and speak awkward words of thanks

He counted steps to the building and only then felt the pain,
the searing in his core, from esophagus to penis an electric
wire trying to etch a warning in flesh. each step a character,
each character flaring then fading like a countdown clock

on time but adrift they had to call his name twice,
again counting steps from reception to office marveling
at the carpet’s change in color and consistency, the fact
the girl’s blossom smell hung around his face like a mask

then the doctor, not a young man but younger than he
the unsmiling handshake, then those resolute hands
taking up the folder already staged in the center of the blotter:
just a bacterial infection, Mr. Dodge: that’ll clear right up.

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a poet from Seattle Washington USA. His poetry has appeared in print in publications such as Bellowing Ark, Point Nopoint, and most recently in Contraposition magazine. When not writing poetry he is a Human Resources professional, a repentant glutton, and a novelist specializing in the weird-fiction genre.
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That was a twist I did not expect! loved it all though. clever the story but also pulls one up short too.