Gustaf Munch-Petersen: Naked Human

the grey iron bed,

the faint grey-green light

on the matt grey door to number 14 –


with fingers in tight yellow-grey skin

the nurse gives me my powder –

my consciousness floats away

in a heavy, wooly mist –


then I hear through the wall

a sudden moaning cry

like a scream sunk down into cotton wool,

until the overpowering pressure

bursts the dry lips apart –


the heavy powdermist sails away,

and I hear only this stubborn stuttering cry,

sometimes interrupted by a gurgling yell –


hard steps roar on the linoleum in the hall –

the crying stops,

like when a switch is flipped off –

a trembling lump in a grey straightjacket

is carried past outside –


the powdermist again falls down over my bed,

and everything, I know,

heaves like a heavy grey blanket

on my eyes –