Three Hospital Poems by Lin Lucas

sun salutation

i shuffle hospital socks to the front desk, ask

because my sleep-blurred eyes

cannot read the clock. it is midnight.

back to the room; but my body is tense

for flight. this shadow grips under

shoulder blades, claws into muscle.

i am facedown in cheap pillows, pressed

flat. try to relax. the doctor said today, try

yoga. so I stand, raise hands high

into the dark. reach. imagine

warmth somewhere on the other side

of this blackened world. somewhere,

light is melting each shadow.

i stretch my fingers up. can the sun

still see me? i wonder.


i start my period in the psych ward

congratulations. this body in its infinite

wisdom, had rejected the notion

of creation. there is nothing new

in me. it's strange, happiness

for a lack. this nonexistence, this

potential i could have carried,

this almost life. i would have given

myself to the bones. but what

do I give? at least she will not

inherit my mind. congratulations.

i whisper to the empty space

in my womb. my lower back

contracts in response. i curl up, fetal

on the hard bed. do I wish

i too had been a silent, solemn

celebration? a thankful prayer

to bloodstained panties? my mother

knew she was pregnant when tornadoes

spun destruction in her dreams, as though

her body defied the ruin, made me

to spite it. for her, at least, i was not

the nightmare, but the waking up.


this hospital is a landfill

to cup is to hold. but this cup,

punctured -- a careless thumb against

refill-weakened styrofoam --

holds nothing. is this even a cup?

it sits useless in a pool expanding

as the ice melts, crawling

to the table’s edge. i cannot slow

this undoing. even hands cupped

together hard, fingers pale, hold

nothing. everything seeps away.

but the empty styrofoam will last.

i wonder at the power of one

mistake to take the purpose

of a thing. i try to change

the metaphor, pray i am, instead,

the water: evaporated, transformed.

Lin Lucas is a bisexual, feminist writer whose work has been published in The Fem, Picaroon, Dirty Chai, and elsewhere. She lives with her two cats in Kansas City and spends her extra time crocheting and traveling.