14. The Normal

 Do you know your body is 90 percent

bacteria and only 10 percent human?

So don’t get too giddy about being released

from the SNF. It doesn’t take a minute

for those bad boys to get out of line again

and fuck you up. Thirty-three of your friends

like your being home but the other

450 are busy bar-b-queing. Update your time line.

Update your life. Tell us a story. Entertain us.

We want to know everything, what you feel,

how your dog is doing, your BP and blood ox.

He sleeps in his own bed after seventeen days

of incarceration in the alternate reality

of medical mind. No one wakes him to check his vitals.

What’s vital? He staggers to the bathroom at 2:00 AM,

forgetting he still has a catheter bag. Empties it,

shakes the tip of the drainage tube as he used to shake his penis,

satisfied with the sound and motion of urinating if not the act.

He and Elena go to a movie and eat pizza.

He drinks a non-alcoholic beer. He embraces

the normal, which is reluctant to commit,

returning his affection with the stiffened spine

and hands patting his shoulders of a man afraid of emotion.

The normal is defined as what everyone

else is doing right now.

There isn’t room for you in it.

The Stellar’s Jays outside are arguing with daylight.

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