The Doctor fingers my bruise. 
“Magnificent,” he says, “black 
at the edges and purple 
cored.” Seated he spies for clues, 
gingerly probing the slack 
flesh, while I, standing faced, pull

for air, losing the battle. 
Faced by his aged diploma, 
the heavy head of the x- 
ray, and the iron saddle, 
I grow lonely. He finds my 
secrets common and my sex

neither objectionable 
nor lovely, though he is on 
the hunt for significance. 
The shelved cutlery twinkles 
behind glass, and I am on 
the way out, “an instance

of the succumbed through extreme 
fantasy.” He is alarmed 
at last, and would raise me, but 
I am floorward in a dream 
of lowered trousers, unarmed 
and weakly fighting to shut

the window of my drawers. 
There are others in the room, 
voices of women above 
white oxfords; and the old floor, 
the friendly linoleum, 
departs. I whisper, “my love,”

and am safe, tabled, sniffing 
spirits of ammonia 
in the land of my fellows.