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Friday, May 19, 2006


by Jon Wesick

I found her naked and unconscious in the bathroom on election night.
Her lost blood pooled on the linoleum. One red handprint on the door –
did she change her mind before passing out?
I wrapped towels around the gashes and called 911.

I didn’t follow her to the emergency room like the last time
and the time before that. Instead I stayed behind with a sponge
and can of cleanser. Let her deal with her own medical bills for a change!

The next day I tossed a change of clothes and a pair of stiletto
heels into a plastic bag and grabbed her fur coat out of the closet.
A nurse buzzed me through the reinforced glass door into the locked ward,
where patients drugged listless wandered. I found America sitting up in her bed.
White media noise cushioned her self-inflicted wounds.
She wore a thin hospital gown, and her stringy blonde hair needed washing.
I set the bag down and noticed the moth in her hands.

“I’ll be out of here tomorrow. Carl, I mean Dr. Rowan,
says I need to be more assertive.” America pulled a wing off the moth.
“I’m thinking of buying a gun.”

“Do you think that’s a good idea?”

“You’re so negative!” America pulled the other wing off
and flicked the moth to the ground. “You know,
you could use a little therapy, yourself.”

I returned to the home we shared and looked
out the picture window at the plum tree. Its bare skeletal
branches raked the cold Wehrmacht-gray sky. How different
from the warm spring day we planted it thirty years ago. The long war
had finally ended, and the tree’s blossoms scented the air
with the perfume of hope.

Jon Wesick has a Ph.D. in physics, has practiced Buddhism for over twenty years, and has published over a hundred poems in small press journals such as American Tanka, Anthology Magazine, The Blind Man’s Rainbow, Edgz, The Kaleidoscope Review, Limestone Circle, The Magee Park Anthology, The Publication, Pudding, Sacred Journey, San Diego Writer’s Monthly, Slipstream, Tidepools, Vortex of the Macabre, Zillah, and others. His chapbooks have won honorable mentions twice in the San Diego Book Awards.