Unfamiliar Ceilings

Whitewashed tiles in a curious geometry--
then a close look: time-refined mold and stains,
unnoticed dents, small enough to escape the cursory
eye of a janitor's attention to the floor. Pain

subsides with forgetful signs
before I realize this is another
unfamiliar ceiling. Blocking the view to heaven,
it leads my eyes astray, to the rain outside and thereafter--

nurse station calling, to a patient in room 304,
EKG-sensors stuck, their hardened threads making
a sort of porcupine fur--

a half-way body, a temporary lodging
in a borrowed room. A loss wouldn't hurt.
I wasn't there. "You can relax, it won't hurt."

--T.K. Komura