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Quandary Over Coffee

Perhaps it was the persistent scare of the superbug

that compelled the sun-riser to surrender

to the notion that a coffee cup

had been sullied by a minor fall:

that the time perceived was unequal

and unrelated to the speed

of selfish microbes settling on the rim

where his mouth was meant to be.


The Unknown Soldier in his drowsy cadence

assumed clumsy control over the machine

while residents in loose blue pants

were heaving for a fix under the starry half-light

of the January droll and incessant tinker

of a tinnitus fighting for control

over the little inner voices of a surging sleep debt

coursing over the cornea in presumed delight.


The confused hands belied a clear mind

and the surgical profession, where such miscalculations

would kill a man, no cut-and-dry mistaken hands

allowed access to abscess, no tried-and-true

consultation of the shifting sands where new relations

caught the pour of milk and sugar from behind.


And where the words fell short,

slow movements filled the space

and slants of light displaced this a.m. automatism

from the view of other pilgrims in the room

and gave the caving listener his rhythm.

Steven Lange Steven Lange (13 Posts)

Medical Student Editor and in-Training Staff Member

Albany Medical College

Steven attends Albany Medical College as a student of the Class of 2017. Raised in Queens, New York, he earned a BA in English with a minor in Biology from Binghamton University in May 2013. Some of his interests include poetry, martial arts, traveling, and continental philosophy. He is currently aspiring to become a radiologist.