Opposite the nurses station, the room
where a patient recovers
from a major operation to do with the gastro
intestinal tract, some nurses go too far
and it may be the shock of it,
the mess of it, the smell of essential oils,
industrial sized deodorant sprays
and shit emptied from the colostomy
bag which coincides with the anus surgically
removed. Sitting is difficult. The perineum
is excoriated and the brain is confused by
phantom rectal pain. Some nurses go too far
and say to the sobbing patient,
'your colostomy is a beautiful rose'
when it looks more like the inside of a mouth,
only puckered a bit, only covered
by a plastic bag somewhere above the waist
for easy access which is not to say
it can be used for anything except meticulous
cleaning of the surrounding skin.
There's the loss of privacy, of pride. Most
of the nurses are kind although some think
strange things when observing mutilated
skin stitched somewhere between 'body-image'
and 'intimacy' in the brochure
it is mentioned that anal sex is impossible,
that the colostomy must not be used,
that it must be refused to be a puckering
mouth. It may as well be a flower.