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My Father's MRI

by Sham-e-Ali Nayeem

To prepare me for the test they searched
for an available vein to inject dye
needle to flesh to dehydrated passageways. 

I watched the bruising spread
across my skin like blue flowers.
Remembered years before,

how they searched you for a vein.
Were you looking up at the ceiling as I did?
Not making eye contact as flowers emerged on skin? 

I didn’t need this test as you did but it was available to me.
You were 5th in line to a machine
you would never enter.

At the edge of your graceful skull
by the intersection of infinity
a quiet garden of scarlet was blooming. 

I know you felt the weight of me
hanging on to your jacket, our veins eclipsed
suns intertwined under cold hospital lights.

That was me, trying to give
you my spot in line,
pushing all of time into a corner

shoving everything out of the way
that stopped your breath &
pressed you into the sky.

“This will only take
a moment,” they said.
I entered a machine.

Read all work by Sham-e-Ali Nayeem


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