raven haired woman on the hospital room floor
there are no furniture, no machines
see, her hair flowing like black river serpents
see, the sleeping witchcraft in the fluid circle
I smell amniotic waters, ammonia, formaldehyde, sea salt
she floats in its epicentre
motionless in this world / everywhere in the other
without consequence
I enter the quarantine zone
minutes are crucial
there are artefacts I must bring to nearby medical centres
but I visit and spend time with patient zero
inessential staff are evacuating the building
“it’s ok, “ I tell the sick child
the secret items in my bag brings comfort
the family should be leaving
but they stay by the child’s side
the room we are in is inexplicably expanding
but i know it’s the banned drugs acting
it’s the sickness working
memory is a safe passage
I will think of bringing the child on walks
to school
playing by the garden paths
the colours of flowering
the health of splendour and sunshine
not this balding innocence
or toxic air
not this
minutes are crucial
the conference waits for me

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