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
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 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.