I avoid visiting nursing homes
so I don’t have to see faces
of the forgotten turned to dregs.

A place where orderlies
distribute medication, I imagine
more placebo than medicinal.

And men follow me, while I walk
the halls, their eyes black,
staring from sunken sockets.

They are little more than shells,
hollow bodies, souls extracted
and disregarded as soiled linen.

I see myself with them, bounded
by steel and wheels, dripping drool,
my dentures on the night stand.

Their mouths open and close trying
to tell me about life, as though,
it will rejuvenate the ones they lost.

To them I seem as hope, a brown
haired messiah, ready to break
them from the pains of silence.

But instead, I am their son Icarus
reborn with new wings. Straining
once again to touch the sun

I push open the exit doors,
the miasma of ammonia death
lingering in my nostrils
long after I have taken flight.

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