He calls to say the doctors
don’t know what’s happening to him—
then hangs up, or drops, the phone:
I hear beeps, whirrs, nurses’
hurried footsteps, before all sound stops,
and I’m left alone,
the phone dead in my hand.
After we agree, doctors turn off the machines,
leave our children and me alone in his ICU cubicle,
but it’s not quiet—something still hums:
his tremulous pulse, the mechanical bed—
or something at work in me.
I sit on the window ledge,
watching rain puddle the street.
A woman teeters into view
in bamboo shoes and hat,
like a scroll painting come to life.
When I turn to tell my husband,
the humming has stopped.