I hover in that strange space that exists outside of time.
It is 3 am,
and the ticking clock on the hospital’s bare wall crawls to halt.
We are floating, dimensionless.
An insomniac sparrow balks at the sight of me through the window
and flits away.
Are we looking or seeing?
Are we telling our tales
or are we showing our lives through gritted teeth –
the blood that dots the napkins he coughs into,
bruising pain that started 15 years ago
now in the feet that carries us room to room,
patient to patient.
You exist, you are
I exist, I am
What is a life worth when it’s suddenly gone?
How much for his curly hair and gummy smile,
his bright eyes and soft words,
his lung cancer which has spread to the bone and taken his life so callously?
Give me a number so I can end
these calculations of grief and despair I constantly compute in my head.
Today I tried listening to the birds
but could only hear an ambulance screaming in the distance,
its voice echoing in the patient’s ventilator.
The sun rises now, and its light hits the water outside,
coating it in a crimson sheen.
And as I stare at the gaping surface
I wonder if it really is that hard to walk on water.
Easier than flying, I think, easier than dying.