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
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 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.
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
Will be alright in the end.
© Chester Sakamoto