Reruns in the Oncologist’s Waiting Room

Leather banquettes in old green edge the room.
A drab green of animal scales, guarded 
Under agave, on days too hot to move. 
Whatever breathes freezes when you turn.

Leather banquettes without that wounded sound
Of leather in summer, when you try to leave 
And your skin pulls. The sound you want to make 
When you want to leave and can’t; won’t.

Leather banquettes look darker by the window,
By the watered jade and gray-green figs; 
Darker, like a mark over lips before 
The kiss arrives. A man slouched on the far

Leather banquette reads his own St. Luke. 
Another brings his father back from Hematology. 
“Wait here.” He bolts to Accounting. 
The old man stands by the wall. He leans by

Leather banquettes, and days pass, one green 
Solid after another; the surface almost split. 
The man leans on the wall, and you wait 
Your turn, wanting to remember only 

Leather banquettes. His son leads him away, 
And TV, muffling all the conversations, 
Keeps us watching over and over, common 
In our muddled waiting, cushioned on green

Leather banquettes: A green more gray than grass 
Or money, however much you have to leave. 
The better doctors offer laughter piped 
In waiting rooms: Lucy & Ricky & Ethel & Fred 

& Danny & Kathy 
Patty Cathy Lassie Batman 
Amos Andy Andy Barney Opie 
Bee “Leave It To Beaver”