(#9) On repetition, compulsion

prompt: write a calligram

this                                    this                                         this
is dr                                    is dr                                    is dr
cala-                                    luca,                              forbes
brez                                    please                         please
zo                                        leave                      leave a
m         e         ss                   a                          ge

after the tone, and that’s where it starts, act I
please leave a message after the tone and I’ll
after this, press the pound key to begin and I’ll
hello, I am unavailable, but if you let me know
the same script every time, hello-
I am looking for a new doctor to—
at this point I paw for my seltzer
like a drowning dog pawing for 
scraps of damp board in the sea
to prescribe for me, please call-
and I hang up as the chest heaves
you see, dear doctor, I feel/think—
we are not so different, you and I–
despite the chairs we slouch upon
we’ve both sworn a solemn vow to
ourselves, to others, to Aetna, to–
our mothers and fathers, our dead
to first do no harm, to primum non
nilcere, and all that bullshit jargon–
we have promised not to hurt them
perhaps not hurt ourselves, please
call soon at this number please-
let me know you’ll be back soon.

-C.

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