I do not want the happiness god.
A god-damn toy with every meal,
candy with breakfast, entertainment
wasting our glassbox minds while
the children of brave mothers scratch
hungry sticks in the dirt. I will feed
myself bullets before I wish you happiness
pray for your open eyes instead, meaning-
ful work, a faithful leading; picture you
sitting with your precious things gone
to thorns and sticks beside your naked

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Editor's Note



No mirror in my
waiting room

No coat racks. No toys. No candy.
I am selling time and this brain packed
with Latinate facts for nothing no one
pays for my opinion here except with
their own time waiting in my sullen waiting
room knowing what they know I am
worthless my time sold even cheaper
than theirs my life so little valued so little
wasted on me. I charge no high fees.
No white coat. No power. No respect.

Oh Dr. Lee

you caught me in your lens
with my back backed up
against a mirrored corner
of the mirrored room and worse–
reflection–the night sky’s mirrored
windows–oh, too many, Dr. Lee,
all those women with hunched
shoulders and tight smiles, fists
clenched at their hips
such seas and seas of broken
old women: I must still be bent
light somewhere out past the solstice

Kelley White is a mother of three, Quaker, inner-city pediatrician for more than twenty years, collector of stray animals and seeker after Buddha nature. Her two full-length poetry collections, The Patient Presents and Late, were published by The People's Press. Her two chapbooks, I am going to walk toward the sanctuary by Dolorosa Press and Against Medical Advice, were put out by Pudding House.

Copyright 2004, Kelley White. This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.