Old lesson

It was only when the doctors
wheeled him into the intensive ward
that it dawned on him
his body had its own cartography
of loss & pain
His mind insisted everything was the same
but they told him to put out his arms,
scanned his brain
& read the cardiogram…
It was so easy to believe
that days ahead were like a tree full of leaves
& friends would send their own felicitous reprieve.
When the lights were put out one by one
nurses shushed the visitors down
he was suddenly alone.
He made a mental countdown:
Only a few were worth their price
Only a few would stand by his side
He should cut his list of loves & losses
& In the hospital wisdom of this rite
he realized how invisible he was
to most passersby in his stupid life.

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