[I tend to avoid writing about my own experiences on this blog or in my poetry in general. However, I have recently felt obliged to post occasionally about my adventures in the Brazilian national health system. Here is a short poem I wrote during my latest two-month stay in hospital, much of it—conscious or comatose—in intensive care.]


A susurration of muzak, monitors,

hushed nurses’ voices

suffuses the silent ward.


Patients lined up as if

effigies-to-be breathe noiselessly

out into the nebulized air.