During a heatwave, visitors are forbidden beyond the reception desk. Breathing machines run on batteries after midnight nurses rush out on cigarette break. There is a sudden drop in humidity with the scream of a new-born dug out of the womb by hand. Outside the hospital, a man walks between candles like into a forest delivering flowers to the maternity. Alley cats rummage through garbage, wish him good luck. Staff change shifts back at depot for deep-cleaning. Summer rainwater washes away night traffic blood puddles.
© Maria Stadnicka, June 2021, published in International Times on 26 June 2021.