ventilator

hairless alabaster skin
scored by pinpricks and stitch marks
translucent in its venous frame
mannequin like

antiseptic fills my nose
my ears the sucking sounds of Darth Vader
breathing your breath
instead of you

I whisper you stories
without an end
hoping the anticipation
will keep you hanging, on

I massage your feet
lovingly
because there’s nothing
I can do

I spread my hands wide
and muster all the energy I have
to bolt healing rays
through your lifeless torso

and I pray
and I pray
and I pray
but God isn’t listening

your green eyes stay sealed
your lips taped to the hose
your feet splayed, like a duck
your slender fingers, still growing nails

and my innocence
is shattered
by your
impending doom…

© wildwomenlove poetry

ventilator

wildwomenlove

ADELAIDE, Australia

Artist's Description

at 27 I witnessed my best friend’s slow death in a hospital ICU ward. she was on a ventilator machine, in an induced coma. I can still remember the sound of the machine, the smell of the room, and my overwhelming powerlessness. she was young, I believed she would get through it. I was wrong. It changed my life…

I am well healed now and still this image is burnt into my psyche, along with the sound and the smell. I still love her dearly, and think of her always…IF only my lazer beam hands had worked…

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