Camarillo State Hospital

Visiting a brother

It is my turn to visit.

Every step echoes down yellowed tile halls.

When I enter the room, we look past each other;

Neither one of us says hello.


His eyes are gaunt and empty,

his face matches a sweatshirt

that is now too big for him.


There is no art in this room,

no effort to cover the plastered holes.


In the leafless tree outside the window,

a sparrow begins to sing.

Together we turn our heads to listen.

I reach across, and grip my brother’s wrist.

The End

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