A poem from The Sickness Suite


I wasn’t looking for a liver or thinking about livers, I was looking for a Texas Crescent, a Cloudless Sulphur, a Tropical Checkered Skipper, or even a measly old Monarch, but that day the butterflies weren’t presenting in the Butterfly Garden. I looked in every spider web. I found a fountain that was too clean. I watched a woman with a hospital nametag float from one rosebud to another snipping as she went. I followed a line of ants to a dead pigeon. They were dancing on her eyes, singing Kumbaya in a circle, they’d waited and waited. They lifted their tiny cups of blood to the mirrored buildings sparkling all around, and I thought about the time I was driving a country highway from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery, when I was convinced I had cause enough to turn my wheel to the headlights zipping toward me. How easy it would be to cross those yellow lines, to flit over the border.

By Tim Staley




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