The fan atop the microwave’s off, but the air is on, so
it streams through vents above my desk, rustling sheets on the sticky board:
“Community Resource Guide,” “Counseling Services Sliding Scale,”
phone numbers, extensions, a schedule.
My body is like those papers, moved by the air of the patients:
disheveled, angry, anxious, bewildered, wanting to die, arriving in crisis.
My mind, exhausted from double shifts, is like the fan, its white propeller
(desire) un-turning, off. For now it’s lost its color.
(A child cried so intensely today he swallowed enough of his tears to vomit.
Taken by ambulance away, he left the center eerily quiet.)