POPPIES
 

I think they’re supposed to be
opium poppies

but the abstract art in Dermatology
looks like an angry cluster

of pimples. I’ve stopped picking
the basal cells beneath

my wide-rimmed garden hat, the long
white sleeves of my shirt.

There’s a little boy with mom
and a bad sunburn beside me.

He’s playing with a rubber shark
that swallows his pinky finger.

I’m watching his tiny digits walk
across the cushion toward – What

do you think they’ll remove today?
The poppies blister in anticipation.

 

 

First publication: Turk's Head Review, July 2016