It is possible, perhaps even reasonable
to tell oneself that this alone is real,
the one grim truth ineluctable.
Purgatory or hell, it’s immaterial.
Not Dante but Bosch, this: the stylised fright
of ether, smells and swabs, and groans
punctuating the strip-lit night,
unspared by strident insistent phones.
Outside cars, neon, flights overhead –
the whole damn business of living in fact –
cavalcade past the varying dead
like dreams against this waking act.