Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Comfort Zones

"The patient is comfortable," reports
the doctor. What does that mean? That he's so drugged up
he can't think of the limb cut off when he couldn't
be extracted from the car crash in one piece
or the parts of his interior anatomy
that have been obliterated, when it all looks the same
from over the white hospital coverlet
so who knows, particularly
when seen through misted-over eyes.

"The couple is comfortably off". What does that
mean? Not that they are well off, being well
and comfortable are not necessarily one
and the same as I'm beginning to learn.
But maybe they don't have to worry about putting
food on their table or shoes on their feet,
and yet they're scared shitless
of breaking up the family, being seen as despicable,
or not having medical cover, or not enough.

Com - for - table. Someone's come for the table
which we didn't want to get rid of and isn't ours
to give away and its collection of cards
and stale water cups but we nevertheless
let them in because I'm feeling delirious like I have a head
on head on head on making up the unbelievable,
not waking up as I stare at a pale white curtain,
the pale white hospital bed's curtain,
and I do not feel comfortable about any of this.

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