Page 17 - WTP Vol.VII #3
P. 17

 Grand Central Station
The information kiosk is his brain, the hub of necessary info, but the lines are long, and sometimes the clerk has no answers.
The vaulted teal ceiling with its gods in star patterns: heaven. The golden box in the wall for sending letters: his bulletin board,
which we collage with his devoted, unread fan mail.
The trains arriving, departing: a battery of drugs, traveling his veins
to try to kill the cancer, stop the nausea, repress the seizures, kindle the appetite, loose the bowels, ease the pain.
Track lines: unwanted tattoos along his weary arms,
the conditions pushing back, winning the war, always clearly
winning the war, no matter the little battles won. He is still as the marble floors and steps of the terminal. He is terminal,
the grey-white shade of statues, and we are the tourists— doctors, nurses, aids, hospice, therapists, sons, daughter, wife,
friends, clergy, palliative team—all of us looking to the ceiling for answers, bustling around pretending we know where we are
going. Below, the sewers churn with packs of rats, the gods above keep their fixed positions, and our every action glances off of stone.
 Olander’s poetry has appeared recently in Ilanot Review, Mom Egg Review, Plath Poetry Project, Radar Poetry, SWWIM Every Day, Virga Magazine, and Yemassee Journal, among others. Collaborative work with Elizabeth Paul appears in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing (Black Lawrence Press) and online at Duende and petrichor. She was the 2013 winner of the Women’s National Book Association poetry contest, and her first chapbook is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press this fall. She lives in Western Mas- sachusetts, where she teaches writing at Westfield State University and is the editor/director of Perugia Press.

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