At the hospital they demand
a contact for emergencies
or next of kin
once I named you, in days gone by
but there is nobody
they asked how I arrived
I could not drive
I told them of the rideshare
and they wouldn’t treat me until
I gave them a person
so I invented one
with a false name
and an unused area code
an imaginary friend or lover
a wisp of smoke in my mind
a vacant lot in an empty city
an acceptance of abandonment

Self Portrait #3 Acrylic on canvas

This is what happened when I had to go to the hospital following my stroke last weekend. In my state it was more than frustrating.