I heard fragments of the phrases

That you screamed last night

And you were underneath the covers

You were trembling with fright

Snatches of remorse and of tragedy and pain

I know I've seen you suffer

And I'll see you scream again

But dear God, what on earth did they do to you last night?

I have never seen your eyes

So dull and so afraid

You screamed out my name

And they held me back:

What could I do to get to you?

I strained and I bellowed

And I wept,

And I even collapsed

And cut my head on the door handle.

I was so frenzied

Because you were on fire,

Or so it seemed:

I have never seen anyone convulse with such violence

And urgency:

You needed some escape

And none was evident:

You cried out my name

And all I did was bleed

And ruin the clinical white of the linoleum.

It came suddenly,

That final twitch

And shriek

And if a single rose could end your tears

I'd give you thousands:

They would not let me in

Until they made you fall asleep

And then, more dead than alive,

I stumbled in and held your sleeping hand

And muttered of a better life than this

And endless lazy days of all we wanted

I know I don't deserve you,

And I know you deserve more than this.

You looked so calm, despite

The beads of sweat that spattered

Your pale face,

You were Ophelia

And I could not be anything

Of use to you:

They would not let me hold you, you see,

When you were still alive,

Or when you still were suffering:

You look half-dead, these days, unless you are in pain.

And now, what can I do?

I only ever failed to hold you, when you needed me

I would be happy if I were with you now,

But they made you fall asleep

And I know you'll never see me again.