In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Health? No Care

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Stitching quilted time surgical square by square, a hodgepodge of olive drabs and polluted sky blues in pattern--patient in, patient out--
a nurse-maid wends her way through plastic bags plump and warm with piss
and blood-stained pillow cases where patients puke spittle in their sleep.

A helper of the sick, a cold hand but a hand nevertheless, she pricks fingers and asses, plugs up spills poured in gut-twisting fiery pain with a pat and a clean sheet, plight of the sick, wedged between death and dying her daily duties.

Goddess in green, she performs impeccably clean, masked, gowned and gloved, hairless and germ-free--safety's illusory garments for germ workers, spreading disease and then getting paid for treating the infected in the circle of death cheats.

A man who survived contracting a deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacteria from what they inserted inside his body, contaminated just by existing behind the sterilized hospital walls, lost his will to live, a potential suicide by health care.

Like homework sent home from school, he was delivered home to nurse himself, take back his own health with needles to prep and pop, blood to digitally track and communicate, which was too much to do for his weakened old self, so he opted out.

A list of twenty ten-step perilous operations to complete for his own mending, too soon after his near-death visit to the sleepless halls of buzz button calls and electronic beeps of monitors ironically measuring life's slippage.

Too weak to stand, he gathered his will, lost his way, awash in the maze of pop-in nurse-teachers, marching in step to medical time, protocols and measures, without care, dispassionately immune to measure more than mortal drops of human blood.

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