The Patient

The Patient

A Sestina


The scent of the room was sweet and sick

Time flew by, spun in circles and landed in my hands

My veins pulsed with liquid energy

She came to see me once or twice, in a dream

Best wishes to you and yours

Her smile was loud, reverberated throughout me


Ripping out the pages of books, words crawled over me

Let us help you, are you sick?

So are we. Our dosage is much like yours

Fists clenched, room as dirty as my hands

I longed to sleep, longed to dream

Sat for years and watched life come and go without energy


The ebb and flow of energy

Did not take long to infiltrate me

Can the others tell reality from a dream?

I ask around the hall, fluorescent lights shining on my frail face, showing I am sick

Once a woman tightly holds my hands

She says, “Once my skin was as clean as yours,”


Anger is an IV stuck in my arm; my emotions are no different from yours

I walk away, finally gaining the courage and energy

Thoroughly wipe my hands

Her ragged voice is all over me

She is nothing but old, nothing but sick

I push her into the deep end of my brain, stay out of my dreams


Oh, but I dream and dream and dream

She tells me, “My hair was once soft like yours,”

The words are following me, they are the reason I am sick

And they love the taste of my energy

Drink it all, leaving holes within me

I reach up to the sky, clouds kissing my hands


The sick and outcast ones search for a key to unlock my tight hands

The nurse sings to me, she is a gift-wrapped dream

Empty beings say hello, that they’ve come to visit me

They politely claim “Best wishes to you and yours,”

They think flowers will grant me living energy

They are just as sick


Just as sick as the rest of us, just like me

My hands clamp together with one more dream

I find myself calling out to false gods like yours, just to steal their energy


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