My hatred of hospitals

Dates back to my childhood

When, at the age of six,

I was confined to Urgent Care for a week

After suffering a severe asthma attack.

A terrorist cell in my lungs

Restricted all airflow,

Making each breath painful and labored.

It was as if razor blades

Had made their way into my chest.

As I lay on the gurney, recovering,

I saw all manner of people

Trudge through the automatic doors,

Moaning and carrying their exposed organs

In their hands,

Gore and viscera dripping behind them

Like the bloody trail that follows an army of wounded soldiers,

Ripped open by the scars of battle.


So, too, is the current condition of the world,

A sick, twisted place overrun by the retched,

Marred by evil and wickedness.

The earth is rushed in on a stretcher,

An IV injected into its oil-rich vein.

The nurses and doctors do all they can to save it,

But, alas, it is too late.

Violence and chaos have won.

The EKG flat-lines

And planet earth is pronounced dead

At exactly midnight

On the doomsday clock.


How can one hope to survive in an age

Where all decency

Has been thrown out the window?

Selfishness, greed, arrogance,

These are the morals of our times.

As good people suffer,

Tearfully pleading for any hope of salvation,

The vile seem to thrive

Like cockroaches,

Which have survived every cataclysm

Since the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth.


A shrill, inhuman, animal cry

Rises from the deepest fathoms of my being

And escapes from my throat with the force and power

Of a hundred nuclear detonations.

Whitman’s barbaric yawp

And the howl of Ginsberg

Pale in comparison.

It is a shriek of change,

Of revolution,

Of communal introspection,

One that I can only hope stirs fear in the hearts of those

Who are impervious to the feelings of anyone

But their own.


Satan stalks the streets of cities,

His claw-like hand leaving bloody imprints on the walls of alleys, buildings, and businesses.

In tow, his minions dance and frolic,

Imps with forked tongues and scaly skin.

They laugh maniacally at the warzone that is Skid Row.

Wayward souls,

Children of the night,

Swim in pools of spiritual stagnation

While their fever dreams keep them awake,

Shivering underneath blankets

Made from executive orders and promises not kept.


“The past is for poetry,”

Lord Krishna says to me

As he takes me in his arms and we fly

Over the rooftops of a city made of concrete and steel.

With a wave of his hand,

It all becomes a giant mandala

Whose vibrant colors and intricate pattern

Remind me of the beauty still left in the world.


Perhaps the earth can be saved.


Across the many years that have elapsed since that hospital visit,

Six-year-old me wakes up on that selfsame gurney,

A big smile plastered on my face,

For I know that the future

And humanity

Will be alright in the end.

© Chester Sakamoto