This is the pale-eyed beautiful-as-liquor hour when the sleeping
never wake
                        but curl over the pools of themselves
to drink.
                Among their sunken rocks, a bit of cloth, a glint
of metal, shrapnel, 
                                 a half-remembered thing—
the TV’s blue light, the news on,
the nurse-call button limp on its cord, and you, asleep.
The moon that had seen so much
                                                        pressed against the windows
while a gurney squeaked.
A nurse came padding down the hall, 
then, like a heartbeat, stopped.
And I didn’t want you to die and I didn’t want you to die,
as if by thinking it 
                              I could make it so.
The news was showing pictures of the war
and, Have you been here all night? 
                                                  the nurse was saying 
from her tray of shimmering plastic cups. She smiled 
like she had work to do and fixed the blinds. 
The television 
                        kept telling its story
like none of this mattered.
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