The Visit

On the walls

a maddening repetition in angles of ascent

tricolored rainbows flanked

by clouds

            (they look like a cartoony handle

            on an idiotic briefcase or

            an old-fashioned telephone receiver, but one

            clearly intended for Rainbow Brite™)

alternating with

a smiling butterfly spreading

neon-yellow wings








She wills her gaze towards the rip

in the center of the brown

vinyl, wheeled stool

he sits upon

a gash in the padding

aligned with the center of his dick

nose wrinkling in distaste

            (his legs are spread, too)

she looks away

biohazard bin

a cheery orange box

all sense of menace lost

in the placement

primary color mini plastic chairs

with a low round table

Playskool™ people armlessly sip tea

below discarded

syringes and needles


On the door

laminated posters of

bisected, gender-neutral figures

ear, nose, throat

a well-functioning cardiovascular system

blackened lungs illustrate

the perils

of smoking

the kicker:

a cartoon moose

pondering how to prevent

sudden infant death syndrome

            (methinks they’re more focused upon surviving hunting season)

Scribbling continues on the clipboard

she swings her dangling feet

off the edge of the paper-lined

elevated couch that

she refuses to lie upon

she refuses to lie

(Tell me how, exactly, those cuts appeared on your arms.)


Windowless, airless,

this bubble of illusory healing

though the escape hatch is just a

            (gods! it’s so gawdy)

curtain stretched almost

completely across the metal rod

the way is blocked

irrevocable obstacle, that

gleaming white coat

(Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by helplessness and anger?)

Carefully measured words

issue forth

as hangnails are peeled back

indecipherable notation fills up

the blank spaces on the form

            (why is Goofy the dog a biped and Pluto a quadruped—especially

            when the former is the less evolved of the two?)

Sideways glances are cast

at the contents

of the glass cabinets

She suppresses a smile forming

in the corners of her lips

Before he arrived

            (where does this sense of entitlement to waste

            my time come from?!)

she crammed

tongue depressors

antiseptic wet wipe packets

cotton swabs and bandages

into the bowels of her messenger bag

and drew the zipper across slowly


thievery triumphant


(I’m going to put in a consult for you to be seen at the Schofield Barracks Family Support Center. I’ll be back with some Bactracin® for your cuts.)

Hiss and clang of metal

the curtain parts

she leaps off the couch

glad to have

ripped the paper lining

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