Working Ward 101
by daniel crocker
Saturday, March 22, 2003
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Another Day Working Ward 101
New patient: nineteen years old
typical Border Line Personality
Her clit ring had to be taken out during the strip search
The point could be used as a weapon
or for self-mutilation
Nurses shook their heads at railroad tracks
Lightening bolts stretched from wrist to breast
to waist white across brown skin
She broke the noses of two men her first day
with a manual typewriter
Cartilage exploded like wet red fire-crackers
They laughed about it later over beers
“I’d still fuck her,” they said
The grasping for flesh
didn’t stop until the pills kicked in
We used to call that magic.
We wondered if someone had forgotten the microwave
and burnt popcorn again
We saw smoke and thought, shit, not another fire
The fires come often, and small, here
It never takes long to snap weak flames out
This fire burned
It swelled into our blood until we thought we would combust
spontaneously, or boil
Smoke thick as dirty Vaseline waltzed in the halls
The smell of popcorn became the stench of burning hair
“Adrian is on fire,” one of our sociopaths laughed
She had taken the blue head of a match and lit herself to flame
Goddamn it, someone said
We tried like fools to pat her out
Our hands and face blistered
our hair singed and hissed like snakes
She died screaming from her own flame
taking bits of our flesh, stuck to what burns, with her
It’s the only hope any of us have.
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|Reviewed by William Haynes
|It's good to read your work again. I moved so far away from the small press stuff into commercial writing. I did my first morning news program today. My poetry has lost its fire, it is good to see that yours still shines. Working Ward 101 was a fine read. 101 is where I work.|
|Reviewed by Dee C.
|Very tragic write...gives one a new prospective of life.|