Patrick is a black Latino man.
He came to us from LA and the gangs.
He has a tracheotomy to breathe.
He has a sense of humor about the wheeze.
He says he has a hard time seeing eye to eye.
These Utah Mormons make him feel shy.
They're all so white and cheerful and polite.
He wears blue scrubs now like the rest of us.
Blue is the dominant color for all our crew:
Lori from the rez not far from Chinle,
Isolde from the tiny St. George club scene,
Montana in his permanent stoner smoke screen
Even without a smoke. Blue haze,
Blue days, blue nurses in their own scrubs,
Navy, blue techs in their paler scrubs like sky,
Patrick breathing through his bright blue tube.
We play a game for recreational therapy
Led by Mary, who does not wear blue.
When the clue is "popular," Montana chooses my card, "squid."
I raise blue arms in triumph. Patrick grins and nods his head.