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Treasure Map

I drive myself to the emergency room. The admitting nurse in his heavy blue scrubs takes a look at me and ushers me right in. When the nurse later asks me if I have an emergency contact, I shake my head. My left arm swells to twice its normal size. A water-soaked log, heavy and inert. The infection rampages, a broad red band moving slowly like a Dopplered storm, hour by hour, up and around the arm, toward the shoulder, hot to the touch, tender to Doctor Trabulus's prod, painful if pressure's applied, an 8 on the happy to sad face scale of pain. Polly, my nurse, marks up my arm, lines drawn in thick Sharpie black around the first manifestation and dated the 24th in her neat printing, Her eyes are brilliant blue and she can't seem to stop smiling. She offers to get me anything I need. With a wave, I decline and sink into the bed, hoping the fluid they pump into the vein eventually numbs me. The infection continues to spread. Polly draws a second line encircling most of the first, a larger area with the number 25. Doctor Trabulus fears the bacteria will make it to the lymph nodes, the transportation route to the rest of the body. Mortality could be at stake. I make a joke about cutting off my arm and Polly, changing my crumpled IV bag, looks upset, exclaiming, “Don’t say that.” Hours later a third dotted line exists, the 26th, today, demarcating the largest boundary, how far the infection has now spread. Polly refers to my arm as a treasure map with all the lines, random marks from Sharpie mistakes, and dates.

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Profile for Riggwelter

Riggwelter #7  

Welcome to the seventh issue! Riggwelter keeps rolling on. This issue contains poetry, short fiction, visual art and experimental media by:...

Riggwelter #7  

Welcome to the seventh issue! Riggwelter keeps rolling on. This issue contains poetry, short fiction, visual art and experimental media by:...

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