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Discharge

Read by Tory Adkisson

I

In the tight-knit dark, in a foreign tongue,
beside the shower of perfectly synchronized sprinklers
elegantly cultivating their concrete corners,

II

the orderly signed me out. Sunlight
then shelved the world. I made my way down
to receive it: its beautiful figure lifted the flesh

III

off the bone. My bone. I had witnessed it:
I had counted up the marrow with money & clothes.
I wrote, “to my son, I give my eyes”

IV

but I never had one. Not before
I entered this place, & now I am pushed
to the street alone. The world withstands much,

V

like all they tell me. From the laboratory,
they call. From the morgue, they call. They say
they are happy for me. But the

VI

pale man in black scrubs pushes me faster
than the others. Faster than he can handle.
When it’s over, it’s easier than

VII

I ever remembered it.

Andrew Nance’s poems have appeared in Petri Press, Turbine, and Narrative. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has recently taught poetry at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters in Wellington, New Zealand.