that’s you not me
in the white bed, white board with the name
of today’s on-duty nurse: Mahalia Reyes
me in my gym clothes and Asics running shoes
still pink from exertion
sitting across the room holding sagging carnations
trying not to stare at the IV, the catheter
the self-administrated morphine
trying not to hear the shroosh of oxygen
the rasping burden of breath
offering to get herb tea or apple juice
my eye on the clock
asking if your daughter had her baby
your son got into Swarthmore
if it seems unusually warm in here
checking my phone for messages
should I get Nurse Reyes to rub your back
put a cool cloth on your forehead
all from a green plastic chair across the room
longing for the survival of later