I could almost love her, but not enough
to hold her hand as she lay on the white bed
in the white room expiring in front of me
as I sat beside her in stillness,
and then non-belief for a few seconds.
Ridiculously clutching the only book that made sense
to me at that moment—
Holden Caulfield, you pathetic fool!
White bed sheets, white walls, white nurse’s uniform:
a cacophony of silence.
—from Rattle #21, Summer 2004