Bitch Slap

– Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois


Her shoulders smolder but never ignite, unlike chaparral in Los Angeles foothills.


I awake. Nurses surround me, slap me, command me to breathe.


Her shoulders smolder, her energy always potential, never kinetic.


Before I realize anything else, I understand that this is the ultimate payoff of nursing school, the opportunity to bitch slap a patient who had the temerity to die, if only temporarily. They compete to see who can slap me hardest.


A layer of ash hides under her tan flesh.


All this slapping is old-time medicine, the Moe-Larry-Curly of resuscitation. No million-dollar machines required.


I’m in Michigan, my home. The color of Michigan is blue. Blue water surrounds me. I’m drowning in blueberries. I’m in the berry patch, picking. The owner says: eat as much as you want. He doesn’t know me. I fill my basket and myself. Every molecule in me is blue. I fill with blue like a toilet tank. Blueberry psychosis has found me again.


I come back to life, but never go down that glorified tunnel in which cherished ancestors, who love you more than the sun, take you toward the light that reflects your light, the godhead in you, the godheart.

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over eight hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for work published in 2012, 2013, and 2014. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. He lives in Denver.