… should be wrapped up in a hospital sheet
and transferred on a stretcher to the palliative care unit
where life expectancy is six months at most,
dignified and peaceful dying with pain control.
The window is open, the room is just for one,
pigeons cooing in the garden, lilacs on the small table.
Like in a restaurant kitchen, the sign above the door to the room
says “Smile” and all those coming in to visit
have a grin on their faces, although no one feels like laughing
and prefers the coalminers’ “Good Luck” before the pit of death.
The smell of ammonia and iodine, of mandarin and banana peel,
evening news on the radio about new wars and financial crises
which don’t affect the patient anymore. But it hurts. In a corner of its conscience
the world knows: even its beauty couldn’t save it, and in vain did the poets
want to change it. And suddenly it feels between the bones and the skin
an amorous craving: for at least one more chance to make love to freedom
which waves to it from the door: “Sleep, I’ll drop by when I can.”
The crumbling world should be left
in the hospice where the angels of life have no intention
of either speeding up or delaying its death.