Anesthetic 
Peter LaBerge

 

The second time I was pulled under, my mother 

brought a minister. Calmly, slowly, she instructed 

 

him to clear my simple thoughts, brought his hands 

holy and wide over me as the room slipped like molasses 

 

from a kitchen bottle. I was made smaller in this kind  

of embrace, coddled while the gay slipped almost unnoticed 

 

from my inner-city. Behind glass, my mother watched  

the doctors open me. I was brought, then, with one 

 

less vein, to the surface. My mother told me  

never to make the same mistake twice. 


Peter LaBerge is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. His recent work appears in The Louisville Review, DIAGRAM, The Newport Review, Assaracus, and elsewhere. He is a 2013 United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts semifinalist, and currently serves as the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of The Adroit Journal. More information is available at www.peterlaberge.co.nr.