Monday, July 10, 2006

Variations on My Room in the Bone Marrow Unit: Cows

"Variations on My Room in the Bone Marrow Unit:
In the Room of Cows"

(published in "The Woman with a Cubed Head" by Julie Moulds.)

Marc Chagall's peasant is milking a red Jersey cow
incessantly, letting flow a river of cream across
a muddy floor. Here is a peaceable kingdom of cows,
Danish next to Holstein next to Swiss. The bulls have had
their testosterone lowered with medication and now lie meekly
with the skittish rest of the herd. They no longer bang
their steaming heads against the barn wall when I enter.
The hospital nurse, in a cow uniform, keeps on trying
to tie us into blow gowns, taking advantage of our new
docility. This room is as large as a field but is still
a room. It opens with a double-hinged hospital door.
I sit in a corner, at a drug store soda counter, having
a coffiee milkshake. After blessing the cow and coffee bean,
I lace the shake with my latest prescription, a syrup
for mouth sores, a Christmas gift from my pharmacist.
A Holstein serves me, like Elsie in her apron, and a Longhorn
tries to pick me up, but he is easy to resist.
I prefer men, though I know there are other options.
Chagall says hello, but isn't interested in females without hair,
however jewel blue and red my scarf is. After my shake
I sleep on clean heaped straw. A nurse hooks me up
to an I.V. of chocolate milk, vitamin fortified.
She gossips of great bulls she has known, steamy nights
of alfalfa and Merlot with a Beefmaster in Vegas;
and that recent "menage a trois" with the Angus brothers
in a pole barn. I make up some travels to India, and a tryst
with a Brahman bull as she checks all my lines:
I.V. tubes flowing in, and Foley catheters running out.


Post a Comment

<< Home