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Poem: American Hospitals: 

Hospital One, Ann Arbor, he was born in 1977, and he was still a babe.

Something was wrong. But not serious. Not super.

We drove in the Datsun 210. The boy next to him was super serious.

It rained and I hardly knew my brother at that point.


Hospital Two, Salt Lake City, she was hit by a car.

We passed notes later, from locker to locker, decorated with paisleys

And Depeche Mode quotes

But for now she was black and blue, and her leg had a pin through it.

Where it entered her leg the flesh was a dead yellow. It seemed serious.


Hospital Three, Poughkeepsie, he couldn't get his oxygen levels up.

I was there when he was born.

Now I drive him to school in an electric car and we read Wrinkle in Time at night.

But his lungs are not great, not super.

They put tubes in his nose, and he looks me in the eye to discover how serious.

Not super, I smile.

  • A poem by Nathanial John.

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