She Watches Love Connection

by Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Early in their affair they couldn’t bear to be apart so he took her on emergency calls to hospitals where strangers bloodied the linens and his scrubs. A fix or a failure, most took hours to accomplish skin to skin. She’d wait down the hall in a doctor’s lounge napping on unyielding furniture. The plastic covers stuck to her flesh, overhead the mute TV flashed sports or Fox News. She’d grow sleepy as the night’s disaster wound down with chrome clicks, the sound of the world marking time in the valley before shift change. Or, when she was up and feeling mean, she’d turn off the TV, trade quips and gossip with the techs— accidents, who’s screwing who. She might complain to nurses, hear again from some sly surgeon the story of the preacher’s circumcision. Her friend Tammy, who was married to a doctor and should know, explained how to nurture medical love: “Eat Pie. Watch Love Connection. Rub his feet. Everything will be alright.” Instead, she’d flip to the MD Channel where she could witness with what care the body is joined, with what ease it may be severed.

     Note: Skin to skin: beginning to the end of an operation.

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives and works in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of two books of poetry and three chapbooks, most recently, Persephone on the Metro, MadHat Press (2014). Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize nine times. Some of her publications are linked at