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Amy Trussell
Recovery Room Angels

Recovery Room Angels

Johanna removes the proteins from her eyes
So she can see through the orbits
To find a rogue angel in shakti blue
Not the sooty one on Mary Star Of The Sea Church
But one she told me about named Paulo
Who made the candle flames drive up out of nothing
In a ghetto of Rio De Janeiro
Where a street cop pointed a gun at a street kid
and pulled the trigger, smiling
all of a sudden Paulo dove in front
And took the bullet in his side
Then grew big wings as he lay in a pool of blood
and grinned as he waved goodbye
Police ran to pick up the fallen feathers
An ornithologist at the university in Brazil confirmed it—
The white and gold feathers came from no earthly bird
Every once in a while Hanna travels back to Appalachia
And stands on a mountain searching for UFOs
Like they talk about on late night radio
She's afraid to fly so she takes the greyhound
Or drives a station wagon that's close to repossession
Raphael stuck the dashboard with crazy glue
She was baptized in the Baptist and the Catholic Church
That's in case you do something really bad
Then you'll be covered,
I laughed
Her father was a pilot in the Korean war
Shot down over water and swam to safety
Then she watched him grow thin
And die of malaria from her playpen
While her mother was waitressing in town
I never feel like I'll live more than a few months, she says
I remember being in Red's Recovery Room
There was a flaming heart over the door
And a cardboard cut-out of Elvis
The waitress brought shots in elevated shoes
O Johanna, I hear they are everywhere
Even in the honky tonks of Nashville
Someday we'll go and star on Channel 19
But for now you'll step up to the karaoke stage
and sing a torch song at the Flamingo Lounge

Poet's Biography:
Amy Trussell's work has been published in many literary publications, including Poetry Flash, The Prague Review, Juxta, Kick It Over, Lost and Found Times, Tight, Woman of Power, New Orleans Review, and Yellow Silk. Her work will also be included in upcoming issues of Mesechabe, Red Dot, and Savannah Literary Journal. She often choreographs dance to poetry and has performed in San Diego, Nashville, Las Vegas, New Orleans and throughout the Bay Area, including The Dancing Poetry Festival in San Francisco for five years consecutively. She can be reached at

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