The coffee tastes burnt. It always tastes burnt, and no amount of sugar or fancy creamer you brought from home will cover that up, but it’s free and ubiquitous and keeps you awake so you keep drinking your burnt coffee.
There’s an IV pump alarm going off somewhere. You check every pump on the unit and can’t locate the source of the beeping. Has it stopped? Has it blended into the background noise? Are you sure you even heard anything?
Someone is moaning. They are always moaning. No matter how you reposition them, no matter how many narcotics and sedatives you give them, they are always moaning. Visitors look at you accusingly when they see you walk past the moaner’s room, apparently unperturbed. But you are perturbed. You hear those moans in the back seat of your car on the drive home, in the shower as you try to wash the day away, even in your sleep.
There’s a patient in the last room at the end of the hall who is healthier than you are. Why are they in the hospital? What misguided ER doctor admitted them? They demand the largest room on the unit, infinite snacks, twice daily linen changes, double helpings on their meal trays, and whatever narcotics the doctor allows. All blood work and test results come back normal. They stay for 2 weeks, demanding increasingly invasive tests and escalating doses of dilaudid, before finally agreeing to “check out” of the hotel, I mean, hospital.
Something smells. A combination of nasty hospital food, the pungent odors of various excretions, and the unspeakable stench of necrotic bowel, infected wounds, and purulent drainage. Also a whiff of homeless man musk and that curiously acrid aroma of the violently psychotic (you know, that sour schizophrenic smell). No amount of bleach or cleaning fluid or air freshener will get rid of the smell. You’ve opened every window that will open but that doesn’t help either. An entire bottle of peppermint oil won’t touch it. Placing coffee grounds by the air conditioner vent only mellows the top notes of the stench. A dab of Vicks under your nose just covers it up. Something smells, and you just have to live with it.
Somebody is trying to die. You have worked from sun up to sun down or vice versa to keep them alive but sometimes people can be stubborn. When you come back to work the next day, the patient you worked so hard on yesterday isn’t there anymore. There’s a new patient in that room. You ask, half-hopeful, if your patient from yesterday transferred to another unit. But no. They were discharged to Jesus.
People assumed I did not love my husband
that I cheated on him
because he was ugly; lesser
the truth is he was always beautiful
and I always loving
but never meant
to belong to just one
They portray me as valley girls
blonde big tits
naked pink yielding
young and lazy
yet I spent my youth busy
being in lust with the oceans
and the earth
I came home with dirt on my knees
and sea salt in my hair
a belly full of cactus fruit
I grew fond of apples
fell in love with
doves and bulls
of all things
I was absorbed
I worshipped trees and whales
the way ravens change colors
when the sun kisses them
I enjoyed sex
orgies of magnitude
the musk of man
the taste of woman
long bubble baths
posing in art galleries, on altars
listening to philosophers
and poets grasping for truth-
And I am old now
oldest of the gods still living
and still in love with my work
I find little pleasure in boredom
I have more house calls
than all my peers combined
everyone desires love
Yet still the press
I know I shouldn’t let it get to me but-
me who fights
more ruthlessly than War
sleeps with more women
than Zeus himself
comforts more children
Just between you and me
if I had chosen the form of a man
they would have named me
when my man elon musk makes commercial space trips become a thing yall flat earthers are still gonna come up with some bullshit explanations even when youve seen the earth curve away from you as you take off and enter orbit
1. what does your muse smell like? Leather, wolf’s fur, mead and old man’s musk. Sometimes, bird poop (thanks Huginn and Muninn).
2. how often does your muse bath/shower? any habits? Every day if possible. It’s Odin’s ‘me time’, when he gets to relax.
3. does your muse have any tattoos or piercing? None
4. any body movement quirks ( ex.knee shakes )? Centuries spent to minimise all body movements and twitches that might give onlookers any insight to what he is thinking. Odin is a bitch to play poker with.
5. what do they sleep in? Naked. Enjoy the mental image.
6. what’s their favourite piece of clothing? That golden housejacket from first Thor movie. Frigga has been trying to throw it away for a century, but Odin kept digging it out of the trash.
7. what do they do when they wake up? Wash up, get dressed, have breakfast, get to the day’s work. In verses where Frigga is dead but Odin is still ruling Asgard, he’s been lately starting his mornings with mead that’s been spiked with stimulant spells.
8. how do they sleep? position? On his back. Frigga would try to get him to turn over to make him stop snoring, though.
9. what do their hands feel like? Oddly bony for someone his size. Strong, rough skin but the callouses are old. Nails are trimmed and well kept nonetheless.
10. if you kissed them, what would they usually taste like? Mead, or any other alcoholic beverage they had drank last. If he has been just using magic, there’s a hint of iron there.