“We got one sitting on the ledge
Come right away – 11 West, V.A.”
“I am running. Meet me at the elevator.”
Is this thing moving?!
“So what’s his story? No, let’s not go there yet,
Let me see him from across, where he can’t see us.”
There he sat, legs dangling, looking down
One hand missing, just a stump.
“Just back. His hand blown off by an RDD.
PTSD, on Prozac. (He will need much more than that).
Got suicidal when he heard his wife was gone
Not just his hand.”
“No, don’t come in, no crowding.”
I sat down in his nagahide chair right by
The window. His stump was on my side
He held on with the other hand. Not sure.
“You’re Michael.” Nothing back.
I saw him looking up into the sky
With squinty eyes. No tears. No sighs.
Just sat. “You are Michael Angel.” “No!!!!”
“I am Michael Adam.” “So you cannot fly”
He hissed. “Now, can I see your stump?”
I held my hand out to him like you see up on
The ceiling in the Sistine chapel.
He stared. “No funny stuff!” “No funny stuff.”
He put it gently in my palm
It rested there, all blue and red and scarred.
I felt the bones beneath.
“You know it won’t grow into a wing. But I know
Lots of women that would help take good care of it.”
He did not move the stump.
“But you have got to get them. They won’t fly with you.”
The stump remained, I rubbed it gently.
“And when you find one then you need to take her
To the Sistine Chapel.” “That’s in Vegas?”
“No, in Italy, in Rome.
Wanna come in? I’ll show you
On the internet. Quite awesome.”
He bumped his buzzed head as he ducked right through the window.
And now he took his turn on nagahide.
We then looked at the chapels paintings.
The staff came in and brought him dinner.
I stayed with him a couple hours
He told me that he was a painter too. I said: “I know.”
But now his hand was gone. I said: “But you’ve got two?”
“A lefty now?” “I think the guy that painted this,
He also was a lefty. And he had your name.
Well not the Adam. But he painted him.”
About this article
Cite this article
Steiner, H. Michael Angel. Acad Psychiatry 41, 768 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40596-017-0829-7
- Michael Angel
- Sistine Chapel
- Good Care
- Medical Education