The Bonifratrian Hospital

by Nijole Miliauskaite

Nijole Miliauskaite

having chosen exile, madness, oblivion
their striped clothes faded
faces pale
they sleep so heavily
the hospital garden is still empty, wind sweeps
the dust, romantic poets
and he
is a scar on the wrist, blood
flows gently through the veins
at the bottom of the hill the narcotic
fragrance of ash trees, full clusters of white blossoms
save this city
you saw it from the hill
they stop in a circle, press together
someone shakes you by the shoulder
and you say waking: I wanted to go to sleep
it is an old garden, the cut grass
is still filled with fragrant blossoms
and you are there, in black clothes
you walk down the path and I
watch you from a distance, fallen behind
and above your head, ever darker,
tangle the branches of the nut trees, an arch, a tunnel
and you turn around angry
pale melancholy
overgrown ponds, nettles and wormwoods
immense trees, crows
and suddenly
they disappear
and there is only sand
only the stinging wind, only the sun
and no you
the station is jammed with people, but you
find no place on the map where you
could live
long and happily
someone falls
on his back
onto the dirty wet floor
onto the stone steps
in a circle drawn
by an unseen hand
the horror
of a difficult dream
a frozen
crow in the snow
the crosswind
in a poor hospital room
a tortured face
in a white metal bed
are you leaving?
in the dream
I bend toward you: never
I am your
outside the window
the white Church of St. John
people who do not fit in
are in shelters, orphanages, asylums
they recognize one another
by the look in their eyes
in reading rooms, the Old Town's coffee houses, the morgue
an unexpected abcess
in a healthy body
a flower never seen before
suddenly unfolding in your garden
unable to live
unable to die
they return
are safe here
their poems have yellowed
in editors's desks
you save one such page
to remember
the calming fragrance of medicinal grasses
in unmown meadows
for some reason I remembered the doll
I loved the most
can you see how we swim?
I cannot bear the crosswind
close the windows!
take off your shoes!
help me

Last updated January 14, 2019