across night i travel to sterile rooms
where crises play out under harsh fluorescence.
where the aftermath of a single moment
is a staccato of scissors
cutting clothes from torsos,
medics working in orchestrated chaos —
the stuff of late-night news.
a clock on the wall ticks
each moment a lifetime.
i pretend to read yesterday’s headlines
set my shallow breath to sounds around me:
knitting needles coin-fed phones
street traffic dissected by automatic doors
a doctor’s footsteps…
i look up to read your fate on his face.
• • • •