She was laughing…
(at a joke that wasn’t there)
when in the middle of Times Square,
her legs melted
from pelvis down.
High left cheekbone
smacked-kiss the pavement,
spilling rubies on filth
that pushed concrete into her flesh.
At the emergency room,
I watched bits of New York City
pocking the skin under her eye.
after two nurses left the room.
“Dunno.” Silent tears said she did.
“It’s all right.” I walked to her,
and held her. “You’re all right.
We’ll figure it out, won’t we?”
“I was on my way to work,” she said,
“and heard Mami called me supermana.
I’ve been exhausted. Couldn’t stop laughing.”
I hugged her closer to my chest, rocking her,
when the hurt began to crack;
while she sobbed about her office being miles away
from Times Square; when she wept for her mom,
who had been gone for nineteen years.
Process Note: side effects of sleep deprivation include (but are not limited to) impaired judgement, hallucinations and micro-sleep—falling asleep for short periods of time without being aware of it. Many people living with chronic pain also endure sleep deprivation. ~ Healthline
“Sleep Deprivation”, by Hazel Mabbott