Urgent Care

By Dana Levin b. 1965 Dana Levin
Having to make eye contact
               with the economy—

A ball cap that says
               In Dog Years I’m Dead—“The moon

will turn blood red and then
               disappear for awhile,” the TV enthused. Hunched

over an anatomy textbook, a student
               traces a heart

               over another heart—lunar eclipse.

In the bathroom, crayoned
               graffiti:
                              fuck the


He collected CAPTCHA, one seat over,
               Mr. feverish Mange Denied:

like puzzling sabbath or
               street pupas; we shared

some recent typos: I’m
               mediated (his), my tiny bots

of stimulation, he
               loved the smudged

and swoony words that proved him
               human—

not a machine trying to infiltrate
               the servers

of the New York Times, from which he launched
               (gad shakes or hefty lama)

obits and exposés, some recipes, a digital pic of someone else’s
               black disaster, he

lobbed links at both of his fathers (step and bio)
               a few former lovers, a high school coach, a college chum,
                          some people

“from where I used to work,” so much info
               (we both agreed), “The umbra,”

the TV explained, shadow
               the earth was about to make—


      ...and if during the parenthesis they felt a strange uneasiness...

      ...firing rifles and clanging copper pots to rescue the threatened...

      ...so benighted and hopelessly lost...

      ...their eyes to the errors...


MOON LORE, Farmer’s Almanac. Waiting room,
               hour two.


Urgent Care. That was pretty
               multivalent. As in:

               We really need you to take care of this.
               We really need you

               to care for this.
               To care about this. We really need you

to peer through the clinic’s
               storefront window, on alert

               for the ballyhooed moon—

And there it was. Reddening

in its black sock, deep
               in the middle of the hour, of someone’s

               nutso-tinsel talk on splendor—

My fevered friend. Describing

the knocked-out flesh. Each of our heads
               fitting like a flash drive

               into the port of a healer’s hands.

Source: Poetry (September 2012).

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This poem originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2012
 Dana  Levin

Biography

Poet Dana Levin grew up in California’s Mojave Desert and earned a BA from Pitzer College and an MA from New York University. Levin’s collections of poetry include In the Surgical Theatre (1999), Wedding Day (2005), and Sky Burial (2011). Selecting Levin’s manuscript for the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize, Louise Glück praised the work as “sensuous, compassionate, violent, extravagant.” In the Surgical . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Health & Illness, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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