Thoughts From A Hospital Bed
How many patients made their dying wish
as they rose from this bed to become spirits
in search of a place to go.
As death creeps close, I suspend my breath
because I believe my soul will be the next to go.
I smile, close my eyes, and in the dark I see
spirits of those who departed this world, still clinging
to my bed and they’re begging to have their lives returned,
so they can say a curse or other last words.
Walls and ceiling disappear. Death waits at the door. I see
heaven far above and I fall in love. Then I feel roaring flames
exploring my flesh from below, diminishing my fear of frost or cold.
I want more years, but if it’s my time, heaven is where I want to go.
I take the stairway and missing an arm and two legs, I make it
to the top only to find a padlock on the pearly gates.
I ring the bell, angels sing giving me thoughts of spring. A man
with bloodshot eyes and wearing a dirty robe approaches.
He holds out a jug and through rotten teeth says,
“Have a drink to brace yourself, because you’re full of guilt that
not even God can forgive, so you’re going down below. He pulls a
lever and the stairs transforms into a glistening water slide
that expressly delivers rejected souls directly to the flames
that angrily hiss as liquid from the slide pours onto them.
“I’ve been good,” I scream as my speed increases.
I approach the hissing, steaming place that must be hell.
I’m about to pass my hospital bed and grab hold. I hang
there with the other souls and ask, “How long can we hang on?”
They inhale in despair and then tell a lively tale, “Eternity, and
after that we don’t know.” I feel the heat on my feet. Eternity
is too long, so I fight to stay alive.
Hand over hand, I pull myself into the bed and lay on my
back. I close my eyes and pray, not for me, but for Saint Peter
at the gate. I tell God that he’s cruel to compel a saint like him
to pull the switch sending so many to burn in flames. “That’s why
I turn my blood to wine, so he can numb his brain from the pain.”
I open my eyes and see ceiling and walls have reappeared.
I yank I.V. tubes from my arms and jump from the bed that is nothing
but a gateway to hell. I run out the door to see imps wearing white and
acting like doctors with scalpels in their paws.
They swarm around me and begin to operate without washing their mitts
or putting on a mask. I fight back and using their blades, I decapitate them all.
Looking for more heads to take off, I hear a far away voice asking if I’m awake.
I open my other set of eyes and see a human face looking down at me.
“You’re in the recovery room. How do you feel?” A nurse dressed in white asks.
Thank God, it was nothing but a dream I think until the nurse binds my hands and feet.
She calls in the headless imps who have new blades in their hands. Screaming for help
that doesn’t come, I watch those headless things, cut open my stomach and stuff my
entrails down a hole in their throats.
I’d never have seen the monstrous world that divides our reality and abuses our mortality
if I had refused to lie down in that hospital bed. Dreams, so it seems, opens the door to
other worlds that shut down any logical or comforting thoughts I may have,
so I wish I’d awake and say, “I’d rather be dead, than lay down in that bed!”