After four decades getting introduced as Dr. Sarnat’s boy,
some pleasure couldn’t be avoided when behind a door hidden
behind a false bookshelf, I heard my solipsistic dick of a dad
referred to as Dr. Sarnat’s father while a secretary shows him around.
Off stride not buried in the turned-out guise of academic research,
perched near my custom-made wormwood bookcase,
slithering through his own distinguished first editions,
after what feels to me like interminable general anesthesia;
Poppy’s SB, MD, MS, DDS & FACS pedigreed eyeballs
reluctantly bob up to puzzle past a futuristic titanium desk
(where I sat) through the one hundred eighty degrees
of picture window Golden Gate wraparound panorama.
Dad’s inner plastic surgeon’s once spellbinding billowy lips
(reconstructed with collagen by a junior partner) now leak
spleen & bile as if from a ruptured gallbladder while squirming
an unpremeditated simplicity: “ Do you diddling do-nothing careerist
internists take these luxe CEO gigs just for the dough — or what, Son?
Observing dueling antiseptic incivilities regressed/unsheathed,
my senior staff dissolve in jellied anxiety. Afterwards they confide
l took Papa’s veiled peace offering like an open rusty switchblade.