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Interview in the ER by Robin Ray

How can we help you today?

Finality is its own reward. To profit from misunderstandings, the greatest division. Night sky, fluorescent stars, twinkling beacons to the early dawn of displeasure, manifests into soap bubbles, cleansing the soil of dishonesty. Bearing witness from a glass cage, it’s too soon to tell if justice has been spoiled.

Where do you hurt?

Once, a kingdom suffered for want of an able farrier. Who imagined glass slippers for mares? Surprisingly, twists in the ether are softer than guilt, quietly delivered, trapped between the doors of suspicion. I’m left to revere supplication when I’m charity-bound, fortified in truth.

Do you need a doctor?

Elegant tales from proselytizing solicitors and telemarketers frustrate the envelope of belief and sympathy: conspicuously malformed, formaldehyde injected, laying waste to the playpens of soot-shrouded indignities once thought improbable, tricky. Their lies make me murder myself.

Do you have insurance?

Cancer is what cancer does. See it twirling in the moon-baked desert amongst the French [Foreign Legion]. Rhonda, there’s no better time to help than the present. I dress mistakes in ermine fur or sable to elude the press. In return, grant me an obelisk of fortitude.

Would you like to see a nurse?

This morning, I woke cocooned in the old Persian rug I’d spent two paychecks for. Supple still, cleanly manageable, odor of tzatziki sauce and Persian spiced lentils in the elaborate woolen threads. I used to chew chamomile till my gut flowered in a field of chive blossoms, purple, not the bright daisies they’ve been known to mimic.

Doug Van Hooser has had poetry appear in Chariton Review, Split Rock Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, and Poetry Quarterly among other publications. His fiction can be found in Red Earth Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Bending Genres Journal. Doug’s play, “Here Ye, Hear Ye”, will be performed this summer (2019) at McKaw Theatre in Chicago.

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