Rapraprap a loud knock I, before I tried,
at the Doctor's Door.
Before I'd tried,
said I,
I see
        your work is very evident;
that is quite eminent from
what I see.
                I see,
said he,
I'll wave my normal nominal fee
for such a phenomenal devotee:
just sit you down in my spacial chamber,
lay you down your bag and hang
your hat (a top) atop the rack,
and wait as I prepare my tools.

I sat and shifted, glanced about.
A bout of nerves around my spine
shot about like sailors' fire:
shots and needles, scissors and twine.

I nearly thought a bout about returning
until I hear his footsteps near.

Returning, the Doctor, in one motion,
deftly unscrews the crown of my head
according to a neat diagram
on the wall above us:
        a sound like a cork
being eviscerated,
a spasm of the diaphragm.
He blows the dust off my brain
and tisks and chides at poor upkeep,
polishes some, and tightens a little,
then gathers near the bottles and phials
of colored liquids,
        dusky balms,
                Ancient medicines,
                        Bottled unguents,
                                Quick elixirs,
                                        Impressing salves,
and various other quack liquors and impressed slaves of physic.
Throwing in this and that, he
taps the side of a beaker against the lip of my skull to get out the last few drops of an oily purple                                                                                                         concoction,
spoons in lovingly a
thick and soupy metallic luster
that turns blue and effervescent once caressing my mind.
He removes two stones and a writhing jellyfish, and
pours in two spoonfuls of foul-smelling wine,
swigs once from the same, and,
with an eyedropper,
gives one iota of pearlescent ambrosia
that, spreading through, makes the whole mixture clear.
blows off the head,
then spits, and stirs well with a glass thibble.
I stir, and blink once, twice, four times
in quick succession
as the Doctor realigns the threads
of my head
the room stops swimming
as the thoughts settle
and I hiccup a pink fluffy mist that sulks floatingly to the far corner of the room, where it gathers
                and begins to rain a light drizzle that eats through the doily on the end table.
The Doctor taps twice on my temple, and
I focus, pick my hat and bag up,
awkwardly nod and feel the sloshing,
then turn to go; one bubble rises up,
I feel a mild foreboding,
thank the Doc just one more time.
And, as the door swings shut, I glance at
rows on racks of neatly capped
and sitting bottles, each a different
color, texture, shape and try
to match, among the dozens phials
each a different person yet,
which, of all that I could see,
which (perhaps) had once been Me.

The Good Humour Man