That Hospital Quiet

On this ward, not only beds
but halls are quiet. There's no
procedural bustle, no rolling beds,
no IV stands on wheels.
The hallways crawl, instead,
with empty bodies.

Some float along the ceiling
aimlessly. Others press flat against
the floor, as if longing to feel
the sweet deep earth beneath them.
Most bounce along the walls,
drawn toward TV and snacks.

We all wear the same red socks,
as tourists sometimes wear
bright hats on expeditions in
a strange city, so they can
recognize each other.

At night, when I wander, only
one remains, clinging with all
her spindly weight to the spinning
floor. The cross tattooed
beneath her ear twists with
her neck, resembling more
a lethal-looking dagger
than a symbol of salvation.

She bears it, all the same.