At The Clinic
El Camino, El-El Camino, El Camino, El-El Camino
The front is like a car, the back is like a truck
The front is where you drive, the back is where you—
Sit quietly and stare at the ground. The nurse’s broad white
back is turned. The sound of cotton on cotton, and paper
rustling. Goose bumps as cold metal touches your warm
skin. As it begins you are thinking of Easter, of waking
on a Sunday morning and running through the house,
thick blue slippers on your feet as you uncovered chocolate
hens and smudged your fingers.
                                                     Your mother with a fresh
carton of eggs and a Gerber’s jar full of straight pins. She
pierces each egg twice with a steady hand, their shells smooth,
milky white, reminding you of teeth. How solid and full they seem
in your small hand when you hold them to your mouth and blow
the yolks out, cheeks puffing. Later you will learn to play double-
reed instruments, the oboe and bassoon, but for now you are in
training, finding the perfect pressure of breath, watching their
viscous insides drip out into an orange plastic bowl.

(March 19, 2003) (lyrics to El Camino by Lost In America - Mark's band!)

© Katherine Maheux, 2003.