The Potomac — Poetry and Politics - Scott Provence
Winter 2009 - THE POTOMAC

   Scott Provence

“I can’t believe they still do amputations,” Jake says as he steps over the cords that are lashed to your body. He’s been spending his afternoons here. He watches infomercials and flirts with the nurse who leans over the bed to check the machines.

“She’s sweet on you,” he says, laughing, “isn’t that how you got into this mess?”

Your foot is slung up from the sheets, a dry purple. Jake is by the window. He thumbs back the blinds and looks out on the highway.

“Bad accident,” he muses, “big moving truck’s tipped over.”

You can feel your foot clotting with sugar; it gives off a rotten, sweet smell.

“You should see this,” Jake is saying, “it looks like a house threw up all over the road.” He closes the blinds, “People have too much stuff these days.”

You think about your apartment, the food spoiling over in the refrigerator. You wonder why, when the nurse asked you what you had eaten the day you came in, you lied. The tubes are suddenly pumping something new under your skin. Jake is flexing his muscles in the reflection of the window. You imagine the surgeons opening you up, and something wonderful and delicious spilling out.


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