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Three Disintegrated Sonnets

2. Doctoring: Hyderabad/NYC

for Abbas Husain, MD [ June 2020 ]

“What is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Supposing I could see that lion city, city
of gardens, city of pearls: I’d like to meet
the man the neighborhood calls Doctor Uncle, 
his daily scalding cup of milk tea and the street

his steady stream of patients enter from. As soon
as stay-at-home orders lift, he’s back to work,
at ninety: scribbles notes, and swivels to see
the next mother and kid. Across the dark

Atlantic in the city by the sea, Abbas doctors 
as his grandfather instructed: Listen. Look
in their eye, look in their ear. You may not
be able to answer every question, but let them

       be heard. Abbas says the ER 
       is a place of refuge. Its glow

is yellow, the need of presence: receiving people
on the worst day of their life. Listen, look:
He says, even if your mother doesn’t 
       love you, you can still walk into the ER.


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