#14

Wang Tzu-Ting2

Things I Learned in Waiting Rooms by m

That we are like animals: we like to sit alone
with our illness, we will seek out the chair
in the corner, or the bench by the door.
The sick have this in common.

That our animal parts can change for no reason—
one woman’s ankles swell out of tennis shoes,
one man’s arm bursts with red veins.
Hearts and spleens will be thumped for size
like little rotten melons.

That we put ourselves in the hands
of other animals, not angels,
that occasionally someone in a wheelchair
is forgotten, unconscious, in a back hallway.

That some wards are lit with paintings
of forests, and that birdsong piped in
sounds almost cheerful. Lollipops in gift shops, ceramic kittens.

That women can be careful
with their needles on the arms
of thin children and the elderly.

That we are finite—that even the young
grow religious when facing the dimmed light,
drawing pictures of Jesus, halos of yellow crayon.

That we are not gods,
though we may sail ahead of our bodies,
smiling, as if we were.

More art by Wang Tzu-Ting can be found here.

Recommended listening: All My Days by Alexi Murdoch

Link of the day: The Rock n’ Roll Casualty who Became A War Hero 

Logan Zillmer concept photography

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