Atlas and Alice - Issue 7

Page 27

Atlas & Alice | Issue 7, Summer/Fall 2016

Spinal Fusion 1. Count backwards from one hundred. Ninety-nine Ninety-eight Ninety… 2. Bend over, she said, touch your toes. Doctor ran her hand along my spine and shrieked. Eleven years of a lifetime summed up by pencil-marks. Mother read me hospitalbedside literature. 3. Eyes open to see Brother talking with doctors. Years of IV’s dripped knowledge into his mind. Being a doctor is draining, he said. I asked if there was a cure for that. 4. Vicodin and Morphine set Sister’s hair on fire. I had dreams that gave cold sweats. Sometimes I forget the cold that meanders its way through the cracks in the laced gown. Sometimes I forget the heart monitor’s lullaby. The way the dead looked at me stiffly when passing by my hospital room. I waved my heavy hand and let gravity do the talking. I wanted them to know I caught their last mobile moment. I was there to see them out; I was their standing ovation. 5. Hands pushing me forward— Sit up, they’d say, take deep breaths. The machines kept shrieking. Keep breathing, urgent now, you have to keep breathing. Don’t stop don’tstopdon’tstopdon’tsto 6. On a scale from one to ten— 27

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