Days of 1993, ’94, and ’95
The Montrose Clinic, Houston
Timing; the lag. You couldn’t know. Well, you could.
The slip in your wallet. The gravel lot—
a trailer, weeds, no sign. Your blood
drawn up, stoppered, a cotton-ball blot
band-aided to forearm. You could. You could
match numbers on test tube and slip, return
in two weeks. Wait three months. The lag. More blood,
new slip. You careful? Are you? Good. Or learn
—what? Discipline: to take yourself in hand.
Not so hard, right? But look: you’re back in that chair,
forearm slung forward, dammed with a purple band,
new slip crammed in your pocket, thinking where,
how it might have gotten in—that tainted cell—
and wondering who you could and couldn’t tell.
—Benjamin S. Grossberg
Benjamin S. Grossberg’s books include Space Traveler (University of Tampa, 2014) and Sweet Core Orchard (University of Tampa, 2009), winner of the 2008 Tampa Review Prize and a Lambda Literary Award. His chapbook, An Elegy, is forthcoming from Jacar Press later this year. Grossberg teaches creative writing and directs the creative writing program at the University of Hartford.