You scream, and you laugh, and you choke
on ashes and dust and the smoke.
Inpatients relapse to provoke
their doctors and nurses who woke
to spinning wheels on Halloween
as raindrops fell like gasoline.
You breathe with help from a machine,
which may be wet, but isn't clean.
You scratch, and you cough, and you shake.
From twitching and itching, you ache
because fevers are hard to break
when love wears the tongue of a snake,
sliding down your corroded spine,
disfigured, cracked, and serpentine.
Your hands will wrap around a shrine
until disease and death combine.
You stab, and you bleed, and you clot.
Those sheets have never been so hot.
He is, and he was, but you're not
recovering from every shot,
and zombies pass by in the hall.
Some still dissolve while others crawl.
Gurneys spin to ease and enthrall
the patients whose heads hit the wall.
You shift, and you cringe, then you're still,
smiling at roses until
they slide another bitter pill
across the painted window sill,
and when it meets your fingertips,
disturbing words leave forlorn lips,
but no one hears the stitch that rips,
so catch the poison if it drips.