barely out of your handcuffs,
You must login to vote
The nursed E.R. gate
has a thousand detailed inquiries:
how many calories have
you gained or lost,
have you been abused
and are you a ghost?
and what drug did you first try
in some god-forgotten year?....
how many milligrams of Xyprexa do you take
since your G.P. tripled it last appointment?
over psychosis-blue gloves,
the nurse's face distorts like an unfriendly curved mirror
but you curtail a scream
and keep yourself out of restraints
people seem friendlier.
They grab you another sandwich
and you can eat it with less on your mind....
as your possessions are carefully notated
to prevent thefts:
white shirt, blue jeans, silver glasses,
and $10.29 to kept in your locker
with the cigarettes you must trade
for a white inhaler or a patch
as you watch the news on a T.V.
the length of a match
Fellow patients are diverse
and sometimes devolved....
in their growling games
they'll get you involved
over the shapely and witty Juliet derelict
in the corner
with the pink silk ribbons
in her just-so tangled hair.
Ears will get tangled in echoes
of voices they must not hear...
every peel of laughter has
just a modicum of fear.
mischievious invisible Puck
is king of the unit,
and his will is that not much changes
but that the cuckoo clock
from ping-pong to pacing,
from morning group to art group
from sausage and eggs
to brocolli and chicken legs,
from doctor's consult
to trying to bolt;
we are all actors in
an experimental sort of modern play
where real blood is occasionally shed,
and we all old ladies and young rogues
go like good orphans to sedative beds
sleeping through hourly safety checks
like elven slippers padding the hall
waking up in restraints,
healing within the institution's constraints,
we get better and worse
but mostly sounder of mind....
more and less obviously human
with every rising electric constellation