Stevieslaw: Cold Sweat


Here is the link and the poem.  Type in my name in the search box to find the poem.


Cold Sweat

They finished stitching you
at 2 A.M.
The crowd at the ER
spilled out into the corridors—
drunks and druggies,
strokes and heart attacks.
People in such pain
they could no longer keep the silence of poverty.
A woman gave birth
on a gurney in the hallway.

We left before the cops came by.
I’d come to walk you home,
but you said “not yet”
and took off, long-legged
into the ragged dark.
I don’t know why
I tagged along.

We walked past the projects—
ugly as the lives they housed,
past the burnt-out wrecks
of places people once called home.
Past schoolyards
and in the eerie darkness
under the el.

You practically ran
down Stone Avenue
where Bubbe once lived
among the roaches.

We didn’t talk
and it wasn’t until we neared home
that I realized you had lifted a scalpel
from the hospital
and were searching
for the guys that cut you.

But not that night.
My heart calmed as the key
opened our front door.
The cold sweat would wash away.

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