I’m ready for anything.
Fluorescence, especially, greenly
highlighting distress and vulnerability
with a heartless office efficiency, illuminating
the necessary work of medical technicians
who administer the required invasions
to the checked out body on the gurney and
though it’s all for the patient’s benefit I understand
you fight them, love, and good for you, good for you.

I’m ready for a gurney as well. Disarray.
The room, the doctors, the nurses, all a shambles,
and you, the guy on the gurney, the one no longer
in charge, matted hair and stained clothes, emblems
of struggle and suffering that happen between
10pm and 3am, between stable and septic,
between polite oxygen mask and rudely forced ventilator,
between your beating heart and your non-beating heart,
just once, for a short time, until they jump it,

in ICU room number one. You’re their
number one guy tonight. The one that almost
gets away. Soft grey light, the late summer dawn,
hospitalised, seeps in through horizontal blinds,
revealing hushed technology, stacked tubes
and waving monitors, a nurse absorbed
in charts, recording your vitals (you’re still vital),
and in the centre of it all, on a high,
rather comfortable looking trolley bed,

you, focus of the looming mechanical
observers, tucked under blankets that hide
the tubular intrusions, and here’s the thing, love,
it’s the way they’ve combed your hair gently over,
no sign of prior struggle, and the absence of
any lines on your face, which is pinkish
under the plastic mask delicately obstructing
my view of the pipe down your throat,
breathed for, stilled, machined into peace.