Urban Procurement

Blue and just as dark, the operating room is the urban landscape,
Illuminated by fluorescent street lamps that flicker and fizz like the overhead lights.

Nighttime, a procurement running late.
Smoke from the grates along the side of the road dance in the light like the wisps of the Bovie tip’s smoke.

A man and his drum, beat after beat, flex like the heart.
Next to him another man, breath held, with saxophone in hand, clutched tightly at waist height, and silent.

The operating room is as cold as the night outside,
The blue kind of cold that seeps under the gowns and through the city’s drapes.

They are tucked away in an alleyway much like the operating rooms branching off the hallway maze
Where streetcars and cabs drive in and out, dropping off and picking up surgeons alike.

A cold rain drenches all those in sight.
Surgeon hands are red, drummer hands are wet.

Arrest! The cold water numbs the drummer’s hands until he slows.
Slowly, slowly, slowly, then stop.

The second man places his saxophone gently into a sturdy case at his feet,
The insulating igloo shielding its newest organ from the elements.

A final cab arrives at the foot of the road and whisks the case away.
The rain tapers, the cold follows suit, and the puddles drain as quickly as the suctions allow.

On go the overhead lights and the sun begins to rise, illuminating the flat-lined heart and the still drummer man,
The anesthesiologists have done their job.

The missing organ leaves a gap as empty as the second man’s hands,
No longer clutching onto his prized saxophone for dear life.

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