HOPELESS, Robert Beveridge

HOPELESS
by Robert Beveridge

The more beautiful the nurse,
the less chance she’ll respond
to char. Bad enough they're made
to serve that slop the kitchen
calls a square meal. The first thing
you tell the newbies is what,
on that menu, is edible. Most of the time.
You’ve heard the joke, you bite
into the apple and find half a worm?
Welcome to the wing. Art therapy,
bad folk music, overworked doctors,
and the same face. You hang around
long enough, you’ll find you know
all the regulars. Here beyond the airlock,
only certain people thrive. After a day
or so you will know them, seek
them out, for they are your tribe.
The delusional, the depressed, 
the neurotic, the beautifully insane.
The ones who spend morning group
in contemplation of the ghostly
visitors to their room the night before,
or those who spin conspiracies
the way a spider spin a child
when dosed with LSD. These
will be your friends, your
half-worms, the ones who make
the beautiful nurses bearable.
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