Poetry: The Lost Balloon by Eli S. Evans

The Lost Balloon

They had nine children,
all of them named George
except for one,
who they named Georgina because
from the moment she was born
one could see she would grow up
to become a great beauty,
and Georgina struck them as
a better name than George
for a great beauty.
In fact, Georgina grew up
to be more of what one might call
“a good-looking woman,”
and she also grew up to be
an emergency room nurse,
which was how she came to meet
Dan came into the emergency room
one Tuesday shortly before midnight
suffering from a bout of kidney stones.
Ahh! he was screaming when
he careened through the sliding glass doors.
I’m burning up inside! Save me or kill me
but for the love of God, do it now!
The attending physician put him on
a morphine drip and left
Georgina in charge.
Soon enough the drugs had taken their effect.
I was really losing it there for a minute,
Dan conceded.
It’s pretty typical of kidney stones, Georgina replied.
Speaking of women, said Dan,
although no one had been,
you’re a pretty good-looking one yourself,
and now that we’ve gotten to know
each other a little, I was
hoping to invite you to my place
for a supper of pasta and seltzer water,
and who knows what might 
then transpire.
Seeing as she was between boyfriends at the time,
Georgina accepted the invitation,
marking down the date in the agenda
she always kept, just in case, in the
front pocket of her lab coat.
On the night of the dinner
Dan, having still not passed hist stone,
ate and drank sparingly.
I’m taking a medication to
relax the muscles in the bladder and
the prostate, he said,
and one of its side effects
is to suppress the appetite. Furthermore,
my lower abdomen and groin are in
excruciating pain, which is not very motivational
as far as eating and drinking are concerned.
By contrast, Georgina could not get enough,
neither of the pasta nor of the seltzer water.
She ate and drank and ate and drank,
and being that both pasta and seltzer water
cause bloating, albeit via different mechanisms,
the more she ate and the more
she drank, the more bloated she became,
until at last she became so bloated
she just floated away like a lost balloon

drifting toward some distant star.

Eli S. Evans has recent work in Sublunary Review, Maudlin House, Cowboy Jamboree, (mic)ro(mac) (RIP), Queen Mob's Teahouse (RIP), MacQueen's Quinterly, A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Bear Creek Gazette, Expat, and Berfrois (RIP), among others. A small book of small stories, Obscure & Irregular, was published in 2021, and a larger book of smaller stories is forthcoming in 2023, hopefully in time for National No Pants Day on May 1st. 


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