Susan Okie

Elizabeth Bishop Injects Herself with Adrenaline for Asthma
by Susan Okie

Eyes closed, I inhale, I imagine:
a fine needle in the arm opens your chest,
raises you to a high pitch,
sets you humming all night.
Saved from drowning, you float
on the surface, gulping breaths,
heart at a Scarlatti gallop–
and how the lines come in a fine
tremble as your fingers grip the pen
to make illegible stitches
on the moon-white.

Lend me your waterfall. I want
to watch the fireflies floating
up the wooded ridge at Samambaia,
to hear your gardener, Manuelinho,
singing to his donkey. Let me dive
with the riverman, to the place
where Luandinha, the serpent goddess,
will blow her cigar smoke into my mouth.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 4.

Susan OkieSusan Okie is a doctor, a poet, and a former Washington Post medical reporter. She received her MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her poem, “Perseid,” was chosen by Michael Collier as the first prize winner in the 2012 Bethesda Poetry Contest.

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