Impossible demands, like hold
still and stop throwing up and
It can't be a hallucination when
the pretty doctor's hair in her eyes, the nurses'
finger-bruises laddering my skin,
the wet pillow.
How sometimes the only power
is crying, noisy-soft, the waves of blood
gurgling sickly from lips
until someone decides, stop,
The army retreats and a quiet woman
spends the next hour wiping blood
off my shaking body.
The next day in the ambulance
to the next hospital, bigger and better,
dried red flakes sift from my hair
and I am afraid.