Kiki from Lamia,
Onne from Vietnam
and Mabel from China
cradle me.

I try not to meditate,
not to sing to myself.

(We can’t find your breath.
Breathe faster.

I was meditating,
I explain. I always do.
Or sing. In machines.

Well don’t. Not now.
We can’t find your breath.
It’s taking too long.)

Brief tuneless metallic tunes
chant in the empty room.
A mobile dangles from steel hooks above me.
They only took down the St Patrick's Day greens
(recycled from Christmas) this week.
No art in the halls
of the half dead half alive.

Kiki and Ohne and Mabel
watch from behind the window.
watch the monitor,
angles and degrees
of killing notated precisely
in black and white.
The only art here:
a green thin lay line mapped
by Onne or Kiki or Mabel
flows across me
marking the edges
of the killing field.

They should give you lovely pictures
to look at here
I exclaim.
Day after day you are below ground
no sun, no sky, no pictures.

When we came to this new building
our boss wanted it clean--
no pictures, says Kiki
as she checks my position.
Turn your neck a little.
They don’t want to silence me forever.

In the old place, there were pictures--
forests and mountains and lakes --
Someone even cut out our faces
and glued them into trees.

Later I meet Han Cho, M.D.
smiling in pink Ralph Lauren.

Can I swim in a pool? I ask.


Can I kill the cells twice a day? I ask.


Can I swim in the ocean after?  I ask.

Yes.You have a beautiful scar.
We see many.

Later, after seeing three of my patients
I drive to Julie’s,
her studio walls filled with pictures,
of her singing students and three children,
each from other lands.

Sing as low as you can go
as high as you can fly.
I sing. 
Your range!  You have four octaves!
I never hear this.

What use at almost 60?
I retort.
Besides, I growl or squeak.

That's the easy part.
She laughs.
Download karaoke from Amazon .
Whatever you like to sing--
for your head voice,
for your chest voice...

For my life.