Azure cones of light melt
into cobalt walls creating
shapeless shadows.

Identical alcoves line the hall
like the reflections
in a funhouse mirror.

A hospital robe appears
in a doorway, shattering
the illusion of infinity.

She breezes through splotches
of shadow and light
creating her own film noir,

gown billowing as she
approaches my station,
brow wrinkled in thought.

Disheveled hair hugs tight
to the sides of her head, dirty
fingernails drum on the counter.

I try not to stare at her
wrist, the angry indentations
and purplegreen bruises.

“I forgot to buy cat food last week.”
She says sleeplessly before
shuffling to her room.

My fingers caress the flat
gray oval which grants
me passage from the unit-

it is only freedom
that distinguishes me
from her.

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