In the Medical Cafeteria

I sit slouched, writing this poem

Watching the dark blue uniformed men and women wondering
what they’ve been up to today

Was it a birth? A bleeding spleen? Maybe a gun shot wound.

But here in the cafeteria you can smell death from their

The hand sanitizers and gloves and headpieces and surgical

And the little girl, the newborn,

stitches down the side of her skull

The wheelchairs and the diabetic

The sickness and sterility

There is madness here in this place of lunch dining

There are flowers in vases on each of the tables

Lilies that wilt and have started to turn from yellow and pink

to brown

The chairs are wooden and uncomfortable

There isn’t much warmth in medicine

My mother-a nurse, my father-a doctor, my boyfriend (at the time)-sells medical tools

They understand each other

Hugs are pats on the back

Kisses are irrelevant

I love you is please and thank you

Things are just like the people here-cold, utilitarian

And the most ugly painting in the world hanging high above
the cafeteria ceiling

It is a canvas of brown and blue, jagged puzzle pieces

The most boring painting in the world

There is no meaning that could come from this

Here is where true hell lies.

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