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  • Todd Wooten

Double Take

a sequel always disappoints

as if an ambulance ride could

shake the suicide right out of me

arrive at 2 am, examined for cuts

on my chest and legs and feet

dressed up like a purple aster bent

towards sunrise, an artery of clouds

visible through the shatterproof window


worth one minute of the psychiatrist’s

time, they say we may even meet in person

late check out always a couple days away

the broken brains walk the hall that circles

the nurses station, housing the surveillance

cam images, unable to stop the crank of the

jack in the box heads that pop through the door

at half hour intervals, stretched minutes tick


privacy unlikely as drowning in the

sink that four of us share, only sprays

ten seconds at a time, toilet paper scarce

as a pandemic, towels that barely wrap

the neck, pillows that cover the mouth, oh how

they breath when you lay your head down

at the right angle you can almost see trees

and contemplate how this safety is temporary

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