Poem for Display in a Hospital Waiting Room

This entry is part 6 of 14 in the series Public Poems

The doors swing
both ways; be careful.
From either side,
the other looks like out.
This mystery your body
is like a Klein bottle,
all surface, no way in.
From the inevitably
flawed models, it appears
to intersect itself:
it dwells within the without.
That’s why the wind —
or is it breath? — can’t
be held, & you need
a fourth dimension
to lose those edges
called sickness,
to become whole.

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6 Comments


  1. Gorgeous, Dave. Those first lines are breathtaking because they’re so simple but they pack such a wallop.

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  2. I haven’t warmed to this series the way I did the “tool” series, but this poem is a real beauty.

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  3. Joan – Yes, it is a mental workout, isn’t it?

    Rachel and sarah b – I’m surprised to hear you liked this one, actually. It’s my least favorite of the series so far!

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  4. I guess it reminds me of the day, many years ago, when I was leaving the hospital with my brand new daughter, and a very very old person passed me in her hospital robe, and we exchanged a look that said it all.

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  5. That right there would make a far better poem that my arid metaphysical exercise.

    Reply

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