Dameron Hospital, Stockton, Tamer Mostafa

Dublin CowboyDublin Cowboy. Dublin, Ireland. 2014. Anon. (photo credit: Karen B. Golightly)



Dameron Hospital, Stockton


The leaves from the willow oak
clog the sidewalk drain leading to the delta.
Cars sit there, collecting
pollen on their wiper blades. This
is the new expansion wing,
remodeled a decade ago
on Acacia Street. There must have been
a new mother today who trailed
daffodil petals near the front entrance.

When visiting your third floor room,
I study the pierced peaks of the
EKG machine’s communications.
Upon waking, you search the air
for your memory, and find it
in whichever visitor sits
at the open window lamenting
toward the cherry blossoms
and azaleas in the courtyard.
The volunteer who lost his wife here
serves coffee and attempts small talk
until your speech evaporates into sleep.

My conversation with you continues.
It’s been hard to eat hasn’t it?
I heard a preacher on tv
say our bodies create
two to three million new cells daily.
He didn’t mention the kind
that you have in the stomach,
ones that are always hungry.
It’s a little chilly in here, don’t you think?
Here’s an extra wool blanket
and a black beanie from mother,
your daughter.

The season is reverting back to Spring
and the cancer ward patients
secretly gather in the
designated smoking area.
I’m going to close this window okay?
The second hand stench
will climb the fire escape
and sift through the mesh screen.
I have to go home now and clean out
the closet of the clothes you
shrunk too small to wear.

Tamer Mostafa

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