We need to check your vitals.
The IV fell out.
Lay your arm flat.

The monitor has a screaming fit
because the nodes unstick
from the boozy sweat
leaking out your pores.

You are confined by tangled wires
to a standard Stryker bed,
while machines you can’t identify
sing to each other
in beeps and blips.

You raise the mattress
lower it
raise it
lower it

Flop side to side
and onto your back.
Is there a magic position
that will bring oblivion?

Stare at the TV so long
your eyes burn.
CNN or TV Land?

There is a man behind the curtain
who bellows and moans
for water and painkillers.

Valium does nothing
to stop your legs from kicking.

Your skin wants to unglue itself
from the fool who brought it here.

You mark the time by each meal
and devour your food in two minutes
to remove the taste from your mouth
and the tray from your lap.

I am your nurse this evening.
Can you tell me your name?
Can you tell me where you are?
Can you tell me what day it is?

Please hold out your hands.

If this lasts an eternity,
Satan himself could not have designed
a better Hell.

You swore you wouldn’t be here again
and here you are again.

Please, if you need me to believe
in God,
discharge me right now.