Out of Hospital
Arch Fam Med. 1999;8:83.
Sick, stripped to the bone, relieved of function,
he now begins again
to put on the body's habits
one by one, like clothes
all forgotten, hanging in a closet.
He touches the floor that seems to shift,
rising to his feet that fall,
floating him out the door. He is leaving
the room that was a world
quiet light of flowers, cards initialled
like memories on the wall.
He takes a shower down the hall,
skin hectic, wet, and hot
the ritual of initiation
before daily life is undertaken.
The flesh rinsed of pain,
he dresses, assumes the human globe again,
prepares to reenter in a new-born role.
Steven B. Katz
Corresponding author: Steven B. Katz, Department of English, College of Humanities, North Carolina State University, Box 8105, Raleigh, NC 27695-8105.