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.