HOSPITAL


JULIA ANNA MORRISON



Wires stick out of my dream & I am plugged in, near the water.

A black & white ocean heads for us in the living room. I ignore it.


My tan is fading; It’s always night here, & I am always pregnant,

disappointing you.


It’s salt-raining in your big, blank house. The ceilings are made of paper,

cracked, about to fall in on us.


There’s a baby room, filled with plays.


I picture your death, hang it on the mantle. I’m distracted by it, like a bad movie.


God is a cliff I never walked off. I never let anyone hold the full weight of me.

I have kept myself to myself.


But you lift my arms & crack my back, air bubble by air bubble.


We eat dinner, skip the love making, & fall asleep in various rooms of the house,

hour to hour until it’s morning.


I wanted this poem to start with wires & end with sex, but I was born in a hospital.


When I was a child, my family ate together at a maple table

until we didn’t. We slept on the floor in tired down comforters.


Half of the children inherited a gift for painting terrifying objects.

The other half guessed what was in them.


This was another world, luckily. Now it is covered by godawful trees.




Listen to Anna read "Hospital" below:

00:00 / 01:44

JULIA ANNA MORRISON'S (she/her) work has recently appeared in Ploughshares and Bennington Review. She lives in Iowa City where she teaches screenwriting and co-edits Two Peach, an online poetry journal.

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