Questions Your Doctor is Likely to Ask You

How did you get so fat.

How long have you been this fat.

Do you know being fat is bad for you.

Are you having trouble getting unfat.

Are you having trouble sleeping, eating,

fitting into your jeans, getting your husband

to pay attention to your fat ass.

Are you having difficulties forming

thoughts that are full thoughts.

Or are your thoughts like dandelion

seeds or a sudsy bubble wand

before a toddler’s swift blow.

As they drift off, do you even

bother to wave good-bye.

When was the last time you read

an article on the overuse of medical

imagery in contemporary American

poetry. When was the last time

you read any non-American poetry.

When was the last time you logged

off Facebook. Are you facing challenges.

Can you actually feel your synapses.

Are your thoughts like sand

in the gaps of your fingers.

Can you hear the seagulls gathering

for the bluefish carcass. Ask not

for whom. Can you see the sandpipers

push forward then retreat from each

small wave. Is your body a jellyfish

washed up among the skate egg cases,

seaweed, fractured clam shells.

Does anything make it better.

Does anything make it worse.

Leah Nielsen lives and teaches in Westfield, Massachusetts. Her first collection of poems, No Magic, was published by Word Press. Her chapbook, Side Effects May Include, which examines the state of permanent patienthood, was published in 2014 by The Chapbook.

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