The hospital gown they gave me
is the same one with clouds
my mother and friend once wore,
a hand me down filled
with the aura of grief and hope,
of time and death.
My name and date of birth
are the only thing the nurses ask
as I am led to the mold
in a treatment room
filled with a halogen haze
and an all encompassing white-
almost a verisimilitude of heaven-
pulled and pushed to the mean
that is marked in black on my body,
strapped in and slid to the center.
The mechanical eye
revolves around me three times,
a trinity of hope, despair, life,
as I listen to bagpipes humming around,
the brightness forcing my eyes closed,
the wave tingling as it passes underneath.
I am connected to the past
by the fear of death,
the hope of cure,
knowing that I won’t
die in the gown of my mother
or with a four inch hole on my back
like my friend.
The eye whirls slowly around
one more time, then stops,
barely ten minutes passing
in an eternity of thoughts.
The nurses offer me curved arms
that lift me up, allow me
to swing my legs over
and touch the floor,
my backside exposed,
as I raise myself up
and walk away, death dates
of loved ones haunting my brain,
seeing only the ashes of clouds
of myself and others around me.