“On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest, how severe is your pain now?” the bouncy young medical assistant asks with misplaced enthusiasm. Fifty-eight friends on Facebook offer their thoughts and prayers. But just because my condition finally has a name doesn’t mean it has a proven treatment. Cue foreboding music. An angel dressed in a clean white T‑shirt and dirty jeans hums while grinding bones to make bread. The Lord remains out of sight in the palace. I sit down to replay a chess game and discover the pieces have been glued to the board.
Howie Good is the author most recently of Failed Haiku, a poetry collection that is co-winner of the 2021 Grey Book Press Chapbook Contest and scheduled for publication in summer 2022.