I spent all night trying to
write you a way out.
But you just warn that
“cures are not stored
at the tip of a ball-point pen.”
And perhaps you’re right;
but I keep a blood bank of expression
reserved for you,
waiting to donate each verb
on the air of your last breath.
You just sigh and smile.
Remind me that I should be keeping
“No-one is going to look after you”
and by God you know this better than
So I read to you.
And even though these words can’t erase
the sting of antibiotics,
or replace the breasts that used to exist;
they keep you company.
Echo along the hospital corridors,
replace the bouquets with verbs
which spin into flowers,
my scribbles pressed against your matress.
Working faster than the medication which
is crushed into your food.
My own breath, your oxygen,
and I love you so much more than these words
can ever convey.