HomeSouthern VoiceHospital Visit

Hospital Visit

by George Cassidy Payne

when I visited
her brain

a tattered
cotton nightgown

wore only the
structure of language

not enough to cover
the contusions, or

be understood
by those who needed her words

more than she did
yet also vivid

if the drugs were working
as if transformed into a dress of corals

placed at the center of a black light.
The one I had when I was sixteen

smoking pot in my bedroom, listening
to The Doors Break on Through
Born and raised in the Adirondack region of upstate New York, George Cassidy Payne is interested in the intersection of poetry, social justice, representations of spirituality and concepts of self. He is a part-time professor of philosophy at the State University of New York (SUNY) and teaches workshops focusing on writing and philosophy. He holds master’s degrees in philosophical theology from Emory University and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including Barnstorm Journal, Chronogram Magazine, Adelaide, the Adirondack Almanac, Tea House, The Mindful Word, Ink, Sweat, and Tears, the Scarlet Leaf Review, The Writing Disorder, Califragile, Zingara Poetry Review, Allegro Poetry Review and several others. His debut full-length collection, A Time Before Teachers, was released in 2019 from Cholla Needles Literary Press in Joshua Tree, California. Read his previous poem in Deep South here.

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