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In the ER at 1 AM by Mary Hanarhan

In the ER at 1 AM

by Mary Hanarhan


published in Sugar House Review, Issue 18


You die next to the man

holding a dish towel

over his bloody eye,


and you, my first born,

found floating

in the toilet. I fish you out

with a plastic cuparhan

and carry

you to the triage desk. Your tiny

lima bean body

translucent, perfect.

The harsh

light penetrating

paper thin skin

veins laced

right beneath

the surface.

Little bud arms

and legs tucked in tight.


The nurse looks pissed

when I ask

for something

more sacred

to bury you in

and hands

me a container.

I don’t remember if I said

good-bye

only that they took

you and they never gave you back.




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