A new work by alumna Amy Minton (fiction, ’09) appears online in Gravel:

Ten Minutes

Seated by the window and looking toward the hospital bed, I notice the bag of my stepdad’s urine. It’s at eye level, hard to miss. Yellow liquid travels slowly through a clear tube into a plastic measuring hold, which is recorded every fifteen minutes and dumped into a larger pouch by a nurse with an Aryan demeanor whom we call Herr Dreyer. Herr Dreyer also records numbers on the LCD screen behind my stepdad’s head, which is steep with mountains of bandages.

“It does look like a turban, but why call yourself Osama bin Laden?” I ask. “It’s too obvious. Go for the little teapot, short and stout.”

My stepdad giggles and does the teapot dance the best he can while in the clutches of a fussy hydra of narrow tubes sprouting from the top of his turban. The tubes drain fluid accumulating in the space between his brain and skull. Each tube ends in its own separate pouch with measuring marks. The drained fluid looks like blood, but it could be something else. It’s creamier-looking and not as thick. While sleeping, if he rolls over on the pouches then alarms will go off. He has already burst one pouch under the weight of his shoulder. The accumulated liquid leaked, and had to be discarded. “I had to start over,” he said, flicking a newer pouch with less liquid than the others.

This is what we do while we are waiting for God.

Continue reading online.

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