The Medical Transcriber

In the evening she goes into the room
and the stars open their mouths to her.
she hears them tangled in tree roots,
dreams them into rising like birds
scattering sparks across the sky’s face.

Everything is moving here.
If only she could write fast enough she could catch
the way the voice of the saxophone
becomes a slick of flames on the river,
or a red flower opening to cradle
a heart like a child burning forever.

In the morning as she works
the voices of doctors pour through her.
Ancient locomotives paw
at the tracks of her life. She hurries
to finish, working faster and faster,

as trains rush across the prairies,
stampeding like buffaloes,
and the faces of children,
no bigger than a thumb joint,
nod and wave to her from stalks of grass.



Barbara LaMorticella

About Barbara LaMorticella

Barbara LaMorticella lives in the woods outside Portland, Oregon. She’s a long-time co-host of KBOO radio’s Talking Earth poetry program. Her second collection of poems, Rain on Waterless Mountain, was a finalist or the Oregon Book Award.
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