All through the night of the day when the madness began
Fever comes to visit me.
In bed immobile,
Sheets dampen beneath my filthy hair
The night creeps on towards dawn
And no sleep preceeds it.
When at last it comes,
It marks the point at which
Breathing becomes my sole occupation
Tests define my days
I and the medical machines
Begin to merge.
New lines are attached daily;
Monitors, nutrients, fluids, blood.
In all directions they flow from me
Until my metal caretakers and I are so interconnected
That spongebathing becomes choreography.
Invisible killers roam at will,
Dealing death and wounds
Then moving on, like clouds across the sun.
A seige mentality settles over the entire area
The shadow of sudden, random death passes over all.
My personal shadow lies upon my lungs,
Quietly, steadily, pressing away my breath.
The tests go on and on and on
Blood is drawn 'til veins begin collapsing
I feel like a prisoner of the Inquisition,
Sustained solely by the spirit of those
Good fortune makes my own:
Wife, Children, Parents, Friends
- All the best reasons, in short, to live -
Never fail to help bear me up,
Feeding me the honor of their concern.
They fan me when I burn,
Warm me as I shake with cold,
Remind me of all the good
Awaiting my return.
Then at last there fell the evil day
When they moved me back to the higher ward,
The place from which one usually does not return,
Chills washing me like Arctic waters,
Shaking like an epileptic
Fighting the mounting panic
As I gasp shallow breaths
Like a fish hauled aground.
Since that time I've seen it claimed
That suffocation brings the kindest death.
Whoever wrote that
Had a strange view of kindness.
There followed a hard night of fear and confusion
That passed into a dawn I never saw nor felt.
At some undefined hour they wheel me back to Intensive,
As Gulliver's god slides off the wall ....
And everything comes to full stop.