Alec Solomita – Neuropathy is Very Hard To Deal With

Alec Solomita’s fiction has appeared in the Southwest Review, The Mississippi Review, Southword Journal, and The Drum (audio), among other publications. He was shortlisted by the Bridport Prize and Southword Journal. His poetry has appeared in The Ekphrastic Review, Gnashing Teeth Publishing, The Galway Review, Bold + Italic, Litbreak, Subterranean Blue Poetry, The Blue Nib, Red Dirt Forum, and elsewhere.  His chapbook, “Do Not Forsake Me,” was published in 2017 and is still available at Finishing Line Press and Amazon. His first full-length book of poetry was published this past April by Kelsay Press. He lives in Massachusetts, USA.


Neuropathy is Very Hard To Deal With

On a bed in the hall
of the ER, emerging
from a paltry dream
where my mother
faded in and out,
like the shadow
of a shadow, I noticed
in the bed ahead was
another patient,
curled up and hugging
his pillow. Clearly
poor, with his
chapped hands,
torn jeans,
toe-leaking shoes,
and a tight woman’s shirt.
I called out “Hi,”
and he raised an
arm behind his head.

My MRI results were
on the way, but I
wondered about him
instead of the chances
I’d just had a stroke.
I was brought up that way,
and though I’d thought that
long gone Mom had
appeared for me,
maybe I was wrong.
Maybe it was
for the coiled man
in a girl’s shirt
on this freezing
cold night.

A big guy in blue scrubs
and short gray hair
came to his bed’s side.
“I’m Dr. Dugan,” he said,
“What’s your name?”
“Eugene.” “Well, Eugene,
I understand you’ve
been treated and
are ready to go.”
“I’m still in pain
my legs is killing me”
“Neuropathy is very
hard to deal with,”
said the doc. “But
we’ve done what
we can and you
should take the Ibuprofen.
Where do you live?”
“Homeless,” said Eugene.
“What shelter do you go to?”
Eugene said, “I don’t. They
alluz hurtin’ me, stealin’.”
“Well, said doc,
you can stay here a while,
but not all night.”

The nurse came
with my MRI results.
No stroke, no nothing,
I was fine, thank God.
Thank you, Mom,
I thought, crossing myself.

 

 

 

 

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