Title Our Authors

Random Coworker

By Lee Nelson

We were paired on a night shift.

Good Nurse.


Four hours of gunshot victim

punctuated with a K1 stretcher.

She was a keeper

but they never stay.


For all the frank blood

and senseless death

that night

(blood to the heels of our

disposable waders, our gowns and masks

and eye shields splattered like kids

in a paint ball battle)

we managed a lousy pizza

and about twenty minutes

of reality tv.


An iguana

a huge one

was lost and found in angry sea.

It hitched a choice less ride

with sympathetic enemies

back to the steamy stone

chase loungers of the shoreline

and a perfect sunset concluded

a rejoicing day


on our volatile planet.

The difference of a minute

can be damned amazing.


Her eyes on that damn lizard.


They were ovals.

They egged down and

flanked her nose

to damn near her mouth.

It was the purest


of sympathy

I'd ever witnessed.


Autonomic it was.


She gave me my first and only clue of

Mona Lisa?

"Picasso's Mona Lisa in sympathy?"

And it was hers

hers and only hers

and only a god could've decreed it.


Like I said

they never stay

(which probably makes me the damn fool)


whoever you are out there


because you must be

she'll take a lot of shit

from you

a lot

as this is always the way

with them

regardless of any

miraculous witness

and you'll never know

what you have

because I wouldn't either.

So have sense

some form of it

god dammit

at least enough of it  

for whatever obligatory

ridiculousness she suffers

in your name as

sure as we are born

she will


and do not





for all the volatility

of woman and man

as bliss kisses terror

in our volatile world.


She's a keeper.

Know this.

You're welcome.






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