In sleep, you wanted me more than a hospital bed,
and I wanted you more than I wanted my family.

Per your request, we all toiled ceaselessly
to avoid making eye contact with your disease.
So we passed homemade get-well cards around,
like we were at a grade school party
watching your hair grow instead of fall out,
trying to ignore your body
as it turned on itself and ruined you.

They passed a card to me,
and I wanted to show you how maddening,
how frustrating it is, when we can't
save the people we need the most.
Instead we cower in our closets like children,
closing eyes and numbing hands to a pulse
that beats fainter every second.

But I didn't.
I scrawled some words now lost to memory,
in an effort to make you laugh
because even now I know you,
and you could never resist a good joke.

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