Philip Kao, 9/10/2012

Current Occupation: Student and House-Keeping Assistant
Former Occupation: Nursing Home Caregiver
Contact Information: Philip Kao hails from Michigan, and graduated in 1999 with an AB in Economics from the University of Chicago.


A Room with No View

In the corner room
On the top floor of
A nursing home
We call the ‘health house’

A drawer of hidden
Memories rests dormant
In a thrown-away
Dresser. Pull it out — gently.

Discover a brittle
Blue poker chip,
(Perhaps from an infamous Bingo

Look and see a folded letter
Badly typed but never sent.
A worn out pack of finished Paul Malls
Next to a picture of wife and husband
Turned face down.

I turn towards you like a robot
You blink, I think.

Another revelation of a monument beholds:
In my shame, a perfectly pulled
Hospital curtain track system.

Who can endure the whisper of a blurred existence?

The oxygen concentrator
Purges our chasm with vents
Of stupid sporadic visions.


The Uncertified Caregiver

She’s drooling again in her sleep
With her left foot dangling just there.
I sit in old scrubs tired of the lifting
Looking with half-ass care.

Someone died today just as they woke.
I say
“Frost happens to flowers”.
Who’s got time for time, when you’re broke
In your car crying at power?

In the heart’s eye, no picture of happier times
No family in their canoe.
I loosened the skin of my crime
And rendered me in your arms too
newly dead.

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