Darth Vader pops a Xanax before going
to the Galactic Aging Facility
where his mother convalesces, sipping
at caf and watching Tatooine weather holos.
He waves at the receptionist, carries
his stick-up holograms and before going further,
rasps a deep metallic breath.
He begins his march down the hallway of the decaying,
hand bumps a Rodian with one leg
and a sparking artificial limb.
He palms the door control and enters his mother’s room.
He has contacted the Sith, several Galactic agencies,
and still, she sits there wet.
Even lightsabers don’t frighten the staff.
Incompetence is unacceptable.
He sits his mother up and adjusts her bed controls.
He helps her brush her teeth, and then later,
puts on her compression leggings.
Vader buttons her dress and then waits
for the nurses and staff to move
her to a hover chair.
He doesn’t lift her with the Force,
that would make it too easy on them,
and after all he is a Dark Lord of Sith.
While waiting, he places the holograms on the walls,
talking in an ever cheerful tone,
and always pretending that she isn’t dying.
The nurses finally come, shoo him out
because they’re so busy,
and he trudges down the hallway the other way,
bent on planetary destruction.
Kim Malinowski earned her B.A. at West Virginia University and her M.F.A. at American University. She is currently a student of The Writers Studio. She has a forthcoming chapbook Death: A Love Story, from Kind of a Hurricane Press. Her work has appeared in Souvenir and Mad Poets Review, and is forthcoming from War, Literature, and the Arts, and others.