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By Rebecca Kass

Unconscious in a parking lot

Is how they found him.

Two syringes fired,

Another gleaming on the pavement

Locked and loaded.


Handcuffed to the table

Is how I found him.

Blue eyes,

Boundless as despair, and screaming

For his mother and his brother.


Sid was raised in my neighborhood—

I don’t remember when he moved away.

But when life twisted upon itself,

He sought the quickest course

Through the tangles.


“Do you have any allergies? Are your vaccinations up-to-date?”

In too-large white coat with clipboard,

I was some imposter

Assuring him he would Be Okay

Though there was no way I could know.


Somewhere on the road to room 208

Two paths diverged and I—

For no reason I could justify

Took to one while Sid,

Purblind to its end, happened down the other.


Scarcely have I allowed myself to look back

At the path down which I came

For the curve, the twist of fate

That led me to stand before an almost-friend

Shackled to the bed.


Jagged emotions slice.

Patients, in parts,

Present to doctors ,

Who blunt the edges and sculpt the shards,

But still some pieces do not fit.


So we float towards the unknown and pray

That we may sail, in any way,

To the shore, on the other side of the waves.

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