David O'Connell

The Physician

asked, splutters, then
gasps, hacks, his
hand, index finger
held up, a moment,
it says, for he can’t

catch his breath, is
bent over, shoulders,
head, neck jerking
with the effort, fist
at his mouth as if

yanking a fishing line,
its hook sunk deep
in a branch of his
wet lungs, his eyes
shut tight against

the pain of it, panicked,
the desperate straw
of his throat sucking
at dregs, at what
there is, there is, yes,

breath, another, all
over, it’s over, and
knowing this, he sighs,
asks what was it again
that was on my mind.

 

 

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