As you were dying, sometimes I went
To the room to catch a nap or a
I'd click on the television for
Flip around the channels for lack
Of anything to do but sit by your
And watch you breathe and breathe,
Your only language. Some kinds
May take more imagination than mine,
Of simply wanting you to stay.
In front of the screen, watching
Of bubbles rise, tracking the plain
Paths, became a kind of sedative,
Way to ease the coming loss.
I knew nearly
Nothing of death, of the way it
rings in the numb
Mind, chiming without end, or how
Of the brain's cells will seize
on it, sincerely
And with the strength of the tides.
Channel 7 was its own ocean, a narcotic
Square of water, the fish almost
washed from view
By the lights behind them, and,
near the sides,
The plants pulled and swayed against
Often I imagined the whole hotel,
all those sad,
Grieving people, sitting at the
edges of their beds,
Staring at the Fish Channel at once.
The bubbles. Fish pulsing across
© by Margot Schilpp