By | 1 May 2018

in a hospital bed

a glowing white room
a nurse checks my chart
by my covered feet

This wasn’t where I was before
I didn’t know where that was, but
this wasn’t it

“Am I dead?” I ask her with
a sudden flash of insight
I don’t even say hello first
The nurse scribbles something
briskly clips the chart and
looks at me. “Yes.”
She strode away.

“But who am I?” I asked the next nurse
“What am I doing in this bed?
What do I look like?”
“Would you like a mirror?”
“Am I a man?”
“I won’t offer again.”
I looked in the mirror
I looked ordinary
a relief
“As to why you’re in bed, why don’t you get up then?”

It wasn’t
a corridor or a hospital
(What was a corridor?
What was a hospital?)
I looked back at the bed
If I leave
I’ll never find my way back
I’ll lose every memory
all my words
like memory, my, words

Maybe find my mother?
But her job is done. She won’t
remember me by now
Who was she?

Oh bother
It’s not sad
it’s not even free
It just

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