The Museum of Hospital Art

I swear I could spend weeks

in the Museum of Hospital Art.

 

I am not immune to the soothing

of a pelican descending at sunset.

 

Nor even to a lighthouse in graphite,

grayscale, Fresnel lens trained

south upon the isthmus.

 

I am not above a pastel brook.

I do not miss the shadows.

 

And I could practically live

in this Palliative Wing.

 

I do get lost in the orbit of these murals.

I pace for hours in the glacial pines acrylic.

 

And I have learned to love the textiles

donated by the synagogue. I have

made peace with the tulips.

 

And I could spend the rest of my long life

in this one room in particular, mixed

media, a seasonal installation.

 

In this one room, this pageant

of wires and readymade Jell-O,

 

Where Rachel Maddow plays on mute

and windchimes ring from the monitors.

 

I am a model in this room. I am on display.

A Polaroid portrait from my toddlerhood.

Elsewhere, I am older, accepting my diploma.

 

And I could stare forever,

this one forever night,

at this one forever sculpture,

 

cracked ceramic skin, a forearm

spackled in purple nebulae.

 

In its silent, abstract way, I swear

there is something it’s trying to say.

This poem was originally published in the Winter 2021 issue of The Blue Mountain Review.