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What need of teeth! A swallowing reflex defunct as speech and vision. Only listen to the insistent drip of metal and plastic; a thousand unanswered phones are the music you expire to. You’re reduced to squeezing hands or shakes of the head to acknowledge pain. You hear the nurses arrive to administer Paracetamol per rectum; the uniform hiss and swish of curtains; the brief discussion as to whether to first do “this one” or “the other”; you or your fellow-traveller in the adjacent bed. I turn away and read the poster describing how best to wash one’s hands and the Mission Statement promises which conclude by exhorting everyone to work together for a cleaner, better future.

The Metric Issue 08 - Literary Magazine  
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