Death in a Hospital

There was a time when I thought she could be saved.

Blood is everywhere.
It rolls and sways with the creases
of her pink t-shirt. The incision is deep, deeper
than I have ever seen. Her strangled breaths trace
larger red patterns onto her shirt.
The doctor enters, looking to her now bare chest.
"It's deep," he says stoically. "Too deep."

Crimson tubing leads the blood outside,
struggling to relieve the pressure inside her chest.
The doctor swears as he removes the soaked pads from her chest.
"She can't breathe. She's choking on her own blood."
Violent streams still leave her, and the heart monitor
falls flat. Her swollen chest no longer sputters,
her ashen lips no longer gasp.

Her father is waiting patiently, his foot tapping
a quick pulse on the linoleum floor.
I envy his extra minute of ignorance.
"I'm so sorry, sir," the doctor
says. "It was just too deep."
He stares hard at his now still feet,
terrified to speak or move.

My keys clatter to the side table,
splintering the silence in my lonely
apartment. "We did everything

we could," he had said. "People die

in car wrecks every day, and there's nothing

you can do to stop it." My phone blares
and my roommate tells me she is on her way home.
I remain unmoved as I wait for her,

my foot tapping rhythmically in front of me.