Wearing the latest in sterile with two gowns:
One a robe, the other a cape,
Sanitary flowing down the radiology hall,
I have gotten to keep my shoes,
New loafers with oxblood heels that click
Down the corridor like a commandant.
There is nothing gray about me yet,
Nothing wrinkled and memories
Have not blessed me and left,
I am the youngest in this winding place,
Swallowing chalky solutions
Spiked with pale strawberry imitations.
My world is the twin poles of a waiting room
And a radioactive plastic divan,
I circulate between them both,
It helps the solution travel down the works
So that the doctors may x-ray insides,
Catching the ileum in its native habitat.
I drink every cup of glue they offer,
It has no real taste, but a weight instead,
My intestines harden and become pouches,
On the screen I watch them dangle
Like puppets temporarily suspended,
The rest resembles old telephone chords.
This is all a dress rehearsal I tell myself
As the doctor makes my tied tubes dance,
I have a costume and a drink,
Lines to repeat about my condition,
In old age I will know worse ailments,
Yet no ritual will surprise me in the hospital.