HOME

 

 

At a Prison Hospital in Thailand

 

To escape, to escape where dreams are

The room crowded, windowless, locked from outside

In the way something's in the way

The way the fan blows, a light bulb flickers, patients scream

 

The room crowded, windowless

Smells of urine, feces, blood pushed deep in our throats

The way the fan blows a light bulb

Flickering black and white shadows shaped like leaves and feathers

 

Smells of urine, feces, blood

One patient rises, a white gown alight with leaves and feathers

Flickering black and white

All around itís like an aviary of leaves, feathers, now waxwings

 

One patient rises, a white gown
Others follow, their fingers outstretched, toes testing the floor
All around itís like an aviary
Mad, hysterical waxwings darting from every corner

 

Others follow their fingers
Covering their eyes, they step aside the dark clusters of shapes
Mad, hysterical waxwings darting
When the shapes begin moving, some panic and cry out

 

Covering their eyes, they step
Before wet flurries of shadow scurry over their feet
When the shapes begin
"Rats!" someone screams; others trip, flail, and fall hard

 

Before wet flurries of shadow
The ones who fall, pull others down into the muck, gasping
"Rats!" someone screams
Hurrying to their feet, toward beds they neither see nor recall

 

The ones who fall, pull others down
Screaming for Morphine, Codeine, anything to quell madness
Hurrying to their feet
One patient remains out there, perhaps broken by his fall

 

Screaming for Morphine
Between two darknesses, watching the flickering of a light bulb
One patient remains out there
Me, the American, I am still out there, broken by my fall

 

In the way something in the way always comes back
Between two darknesses
To escape, to escape where dreams are nowhere to escape
Me the American, I am still out there.

 

--- Chris Custer