9.13.19 // first code
“We kept him alive to let his family say goodbye,
and sometimes that’s the biggest victory.”
Your resident says this and you nod,
eyes fixed down, noticing how your hands are held
overlapped, palm to back, fingers interlocked
as if something inside of you has internalized
the feel of sternum under dense fat,
the lock of your elbows, slamming the weight
of the body down, keeping time to the song
sung in chorus by the monitors—a funeral dirge,
a death knell, breathing loud and labored
like you could somehow breathe for him, too.
You have never before done anything
to keep anyone alive. You are beginning to realize
that when people say “resuscitative measures”
what they really mean is violence.
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