A KID LIKE ME
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.
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.