an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century


Jack Coulehan


Bitten on the balls by a black widow spider
while sitting in his outhouse, Eberhart’s were
tender, hot, and swollen. Bow-walking

to the clinic that morning, my friend
carried a pillow, and when word got around
about the bite, his Navajo clients

couldn’t help but recommend precautions,
like beginning by brushing under the rim.
With antibiotics, ice packs, and Percocet,

Eberhart cooled down. Back in the saddle
defending Navajo rights, he considered
moving to government housing, but chose

to remain in the hogan he rented
from Sallie Begay, miles from the compound
where the rest of us Anglos lived.

*Eric Eberhart, Anglo attorney, Navajo Nation public defender’s office

JACK COULEHAN is an Emeritus Professor of Preventive, Family, and Population Medicine at Stony Brook School of Medicine. His essays, poems and stories appear frequently in health care journals and literary magazines, and his work is widely anthologized. He is the author of seven collections of poetry, including The Talking Cure: New and Selected Poems (2020).