blood pus piss penile lesions

lice sweat suicide smells

in this room of trauma poverty and

pain police paramedics 4 point restraints

black eyes bleeding ulcers bruised ribs waiting

in gurney double-lined halls


metabolize to freedom until then snore

oblivious to the mess we’re in

sweaty pits tight neck grip pen lac

repair near drunk man’s eye pelvic

exam post rape no translator 3 am

beeping pagers ringing phones monitors


swimming chaos loosely ordered

pain psychosis howling in the hall

six cops choke-hold handcuff it hunger

howling in us all

brutality thick and deep we’re

encrusted in it word-daggers

flying from nurses docs patients end-stage

ovarian cancer here for first visit

endless need overflowing despair

intractable disease in people and

the system same faces same abuse

homeless hungry escape cold get a

meal sleep it off withdrawl

methamphetamines alchohol GHB heroin cocaine

alcohol meth EtOH crystal meth meth alcohol

rotting flesh fungified toes infected teeth

swollen testicles fungating breast mass

unbridled cruelty rarified love room

of the grotesque room of

consequences manifest


-Caitlin Ryan