Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Santa Cruz Issue

Charles Atkinson

After the Crash


xt day you're worse you call. He
drives you to ER your son
light off the hood in your eyes.
Cars shush by who cares please
turn up the heat don't talk.

Chrome-edged waiting room chairs.
Debbie says her tag. Fragrant.
Calls you Come with me this
room this sheet what's wrong? She
works so quickly those hands
slide over belly and chest
cool instrument beep. Your
body is no one’s here.

Quiet now she's gone.
(Everything red and black--
crashed. They’re bent over
whispering at you please.)

Twilight blue crevasse
up there living people
move they're half the world.
Here a quiet anteroom:
which way will you turn?

Footsteps by your head ahh
lavender. Nearly ruptured that
spleen of yours--but it'll heal.
What draws you up--her
scent the words you need? A
voice your son at an elbow
steers you toward the door.
Pigeons--rainbow throats!