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Sub-Acute Care by Kim Suttell

Florence is patted, dear-ed
strapped and aimless
she waits, part rigid spasm
part slumped moan, stale
as flaked sleep, sour

like a matted yellow wound.
Florence can be covered
by afghans. She cannot hurry.
Her pinned hip
a sat-upon cactus, her prospect

a shuffling desert,
asleep, agape, done.
She has only to treasure
vegetable slag, measures
of Ensure, the punctuation

of pills, glary game-show
applause. The scared
choirs of children descend
annually in angel wings.
Florence sees them through murk,

hears them as if in a steam-
ship engine room.
whoomp whoomp whoomp
That’s thin blood retreating.
That’s how she wants it—

A stateroom, adrift
in silk, flowers
she can smell, skin
burnished by silk
and Byron on her lap.

Kim Suttell lives in New York City, free of ever having to drive a car and always willing to be distracted by what she can overhear. Some of her poems reside in Right Hand Pointing, Penny Ante Feud, Geist, The Cortland Review, and other journals, all neatly compiled at