Saturday, June 12, 2021


Code Blue

When the code is finally called

Everyone is down-low relieved

All the shouting and frantic

Bustling can finally cease.

We all back slowly away from the gurney.

        Time of death, four thirty-three.

It's quite a mess.

Blood like spilt wine 

On the gray linoleum floor.

A pale bloated body exposed

Under phosphorescent lights.

Tubes jutting from orifices.

The smell of urine and shit.

        A nurse goes to get a blanket.

It isn’t like the movies or even TV

Where the dead are shocked back to life.

It generally ends like this:

Cracked ribs, split lips

The guy on chest compressions

Bent over gasping against a wall.

A newly dead body is a colorless rainbow

Arching across space in the expected pattern

But drained of all defining hues.

        Not quite white, not quite blue 

Death only seems inevitable once it’s here.

The corpse is covered.

The doors are closed

To seal the tomb

By the last person to leave.

Then the idle chatter resumes

In the spaces outside the silent room.

Monitors start beeping again.

Everything is in motion again.

EMT's usher in new arrivals

That are accepted like droplets of rain.

About the body, nothing more is said 

We've returned to the living

        And the not quite dead.


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