by Patrick O’Leary
The Doctor’s name. The nurse’s name.
The anesthesiologist’s name.
I don’t recall waking an hour later.
I don’t recall going to sleep.
I don’t recall the anal probe.
I don’t recall waking up in
the recovery room or what color
the curtains were. That’s right:
there were no windows.
I don’t recall seeing my wife
sitting beside the bed, or
holding one finger to my lips
to indicate I required
an immediate merger with hers
in that obscure but compelling ritual
whose name I couldn’t retrieve
from my 51 years of memory.
Nor do I recall my first words to her:
“Are we still married?”
And just now, I fear I won’t be believed
or will be considered melodramatic
when I confess I simply don’t remember
what this necessary procedure is called.
Patrick O’Leary’s poems have appeared in literary magazines across North America. He is the author of three novels: Door Number Three, The Gift and The Impossible Bird (Tor Books) and two collections: Other Voices, Other Doors (Fairwood Press) and The Black Heart (PS Publishing). He lives in Troy, Michigan with his wife, the artist, Sandy Rice. http://web.mac.com/paddybon.