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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.

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