the best i do

I should do something
it is what I think I should do.

How I conduct myself, as a matter of principle, is for this sake
Not in hopes of
achieving future returns,
not for ultimate ends.
I have to remind myself.

First I gave eyes, and laid in with that creepy stare
-this of course is not what I pride myself as an action of principle-
So impatient!  Wait a moment, it is what comes next. 
For the attention I gave,
rubber neck and slack jaw,
I notice legitimate need.
And it is not for opportunity that I stop my truck-
it was, but (is not) what ultimately drives my practice or action.
you’ll see.

she sits on the curb,
holding her blood stained foot,
broken glass peppered, from a few dropped growlers and bare feet,
her half frantic friends are tearing through the hatchback
to piece together some semblance of medical care.
They’ve found a towel.

The art now:
to transition from drive-by creeper to medical professional.
It is a magic act.

But this is just story, and details, the method of care is of little importance- I approach, saying hello, assess the injury from a distance, ask if I can help, leave for medical supplies, and return this time giving my name, hers is returned.  Theirs too, but I remember hers.

“The gloves are to protect me from you.” Ha ha.
She nods and smiles through a grimace: in pain, but reassured.

I wash her foot.  It is the stringy blood.  Menstrual fluid can look like this.  I haven’t seen it on the foot before.  There is a good amount of blood,
but “you see? wash away the blood and there are only two small cuts, a small laceration on the top of the foot, and a little flapper on the back.  Not so bad.”
So much blood from two small openings.
My hand is shaking a little.  Not from the blood at all.  But from holding the girl’s foot.  Her foot.  A nice foot, attached to a nice leg, attached to a nice girl with sun bleached hair and smiles through discomfort and the worry with the blood. 
I am.
And trembling some,
inside: the violent shaking,
make full, sensible words come out.
I forget to stop the bleeding all together with. 
I go straight into irrigating. 
The syringe tip hurried into the wound. 
This devious joy for the strong spray into what is regularly covered tissue. 
For the laceration it is like this, repeating for nearly a whole bottle of water. 
For the avulsion,
I fold the small flap of skin back, exposing the softer and raw. 
She grimaces, the thing surely hurts-

and I compliment her:
“a trooper,
most will have hit me by now.”
She beams proud,
but I wish she would,
some loving punch to my face.
Any touch at all!
“But if you don’t clean this thoroughly and it becomes infected the cleaning will be much worse; much more painful.”
I continue with plenty of regard for her pain,
happily continuing,
pushing back the fold of skin and spraying deep.
The blood, the water, the gloves, the warm foot in hand, her hair, the sun, the others standing around watching, her smile through the wincing and biting teeth.
After drying and covering the injuries I leave.
Wanting to stay.
Or perhaps later, I’d come upon her again?
In this city of over a million.
Did she really say to her friend “he was so hot”?
And did I really walk away just like that?
Not so graceful, I beat myself up over it for days.
Even wrote a poem.

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