May 28, 2014KR OnlinePoetry

Rx Redux; Lake Mead Ticker Tape

Rx Redux

In some places,
for instance, doctor’s
offices, the doctor is
always out.

When the doctor
will return, which
escape route was taken,
the sign on the door
does not say.

The door does not say,
The doctor’s jumped bail
three times today

or, The doctor’s out
unthreading prides
of tiger by the tail.

The sign does not say,
The doctor’s out, putting
a fedora through its paces,

or, Having lifted a blinder
on the old-child Clydesdale
hitched to the wagon,
the doctor will return
momentarily from this
latest diagnosis: Equus
with an acute case
of “angry cat faces.”

How I crave the doctor
to pole-vault out of
the Doctor Is Out sign,
jangling stethoscopes
and trailing riots
of jungle vines—

I want her to study
me as her pen con-
fers with the epic
thick spine of her
prescription pad,

and with empathy
of greater depth
and duration than
her medical degree,
residencies, biopsies,
doctorate, clientele,
and labs, surmise
as she scribbles,

This is for your symptoms,
and this, for their victims,
and this for our first stab
at recovering your afternoons
from the waiting room,
and this last one I’m glad to
to throw in, given how
it all adds up, whether
or not it can be fixed
or brought back.

But it’s bad, kid, real bad.

Lake Mead Ticker Tape


Julie Sophia Paegle is the author of two books of poetry, torch song tango choir and Twelve Clocks (forthcoming). She teaches in the graduate program at Cal State San Bernardino and lives in the San Bernardino Mountains with her husband, sons, and menagerie.