The number is 79

It was an all-time sanitarium
that had been renovated for the new age
of anti-anti-without antibiotics, without vaccinations,
the sick had to be sick
because of the folly of their parents and society

But there were still someone upstairs that helped out
remember the old days
The hallways for sometimes was sometimes empty

There was a room we went to and no computers no instruments
a person who had the number and the number was always 79 79 was a foretelling they were a fortuneteller
a health teller
and they knew just by looking at you
if you were going to be above 79 or below
if you were going to survive the treatments or not
if you were live or you will die 79
79 and above what is the number
that combination of anti-medicine holistic mysticism

I remember I came as a boy
I saw the old man he gave me my reading
above 79
immediately he says and looks at me and smiles
you’re lucky young man
I hope to never see you again

Wyn, West

Water has decided
  to depart this earth
the reverse rain
  it is called
now the world
is topsy Turvey
first puddles
then streams
we could see
  the video
shown all day
of all the small
bodies of water
leaping skyward
to throw themselves
upon the interface
of space and vanish
flee south, we are told,
the water is there
and may stay put
So here am I
at the wide border
the swirling ocean
at our back
my steed nervous
the best I can do
is discard my weapons
then save our water
  in tins
in bags
in buckets
tied them down
lashed to
  the heavy horse
we drink through straws
we ride unarmed
my love and I
to the wynd, west
toward high ground
for we knew
when it would
our planet
would shrug
dauntless of that
comets pull
the rain
would come
like never

Dr. Kathleen “Kate” Gillespie is a scientist, a published poet, short story writer, and playwright. Her literary work has appeared in Gargoyle Magazine, Silver Blade Magazine, Urbanite Magazine and others. For several years, she has been a Writer in Residence at Renaissance House Writer’s Retreat in Martha’s Vineyard. She holds a MS in Environmental Science and PhD in Marine Biotechnology from University of Maryland at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET). Kate is a veteran STEM and STEAM advocate and has mentored dozens of Baltimore City Public School students. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Biotechnology at SUNY Cobleskill.