The surgeon who saved my life walks inside a subway,
not the subway that sells subs, but the subway in New
York, a train that takes him from one station to
the next. Not one place to the next, one station,
these are the nouns that reside outside of nouns,
words hidden inside one another-
the hospital on the end of the street rises like
a sleepy animal at night, and the windows stare
at me like eyes.
I walk every day past it, look this way and that,
trying to find shelter out of the storm,
the crying and howling of being a nurse.
My surgeon saved me first, when I was two,
and my love saved me second-not the love of a man,
but the love of my calico cat, my one red slipper,
and my pink umbrella, which I carry during a storm.
I think about my surgeon, and his family-his family in
Pakistan, Canada, Tokyo, the place that is bright with
lights and the Chinese who bid on jobs back in China.
There are places with bright lights, but I have to walk
by the hospital, the old hospital that sleeps and bleeds
a bed of worms,
and I think of my surgeon, and what he eats for breakfast,
and what he might do after that-
the words come, and my mouth opens and shuts like a fish
out of water.