Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Poetry

I'm on a writing frenzy! Here's a new piece I wrote and will definitely be showcasing at next week's WAT tour, starting this coming Sunday at Bohemeos! 8pm!
(inspired by the work of Marlon Lizama- Invisible Americano)

Invisible Invalid

Jasminne Mendez

There are 3 words and one card

That will separate you from them

And one job

And no deductible

Means they have cancer/or they have AIDS/or they have lupus

But they can’t get treatment

Because no job

Means no benefits

And they become invisible.

And those three words that changed their lives

Don’t change the facts

That no doctor will see them

No hospital will treat them

And they can’t get medication

Unless they’re willing to pay out of pocket

For overpriced, name brand generic drugs with deadly side effects.

It’s the single black mother who woke

With a butterfly rash on her face one day in May

And suddenly needs a heart transplant.

You don’t see her because she hides behind her visor

As you remind her that she forgot your fries

And she patiently sighs and averts your eyes.

And that one job

With no benefits

Means she won’t get treatment

And yeah, she just might die.

And it’s the 45 year old non-smoker

Divorcee with a tumor in his lungs

That was let go of his power plant job last month

And can barely afford his rent working part-time

As a janitor cause every last dime has been spent

On herbs and tea that promise to heal and not steal his money.

And he coughs, as you step around his caution wet floor sign

And he holds his chest and prays it’s benign.

But you don’t see him

And doctors won’t see him

And one card and three words separate you from him.

And it’s somebody’s undocumented grandmother

You found convulsing on your newly mopped floor

Because the insulin she had to buy across the border wasn’t made right

And she’s slowly losing her sight

And now you only see her because you have to find a new house keeper

And she begs you not to call 911

Because she couldn’t afford the bill with what you pay her.

And no job

Means no benefits

And one card

And three words

Keep them invisible

And make them invalid

Because they can’t get treatment

And now, you have leukemia

And you have diabetes

And you have MS

But you can’t get treatment

Because you don’t have benefits

Because you have a disease that causes dis-ease

In a company that doesn’t want you healthy

If I keeps them from being wealthy.

And the blue, united, health care cross shield of texas

Doesn’t know you

And the doctor won’t see you

If your’re self pay

And the pharmacy can’t give you anything

To make the pain go away

And all you want is a job

Or an answer

Or a pill

Or an empathetic gesture of understanding

But that one card

And that one job

And those three words


The pre-existing condition

In a pre-existing system

That seeks

To keep you


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