Time Warp

Even when he collapsed on the couch,
his face turning a Buddha blue, drool
escaping his pale white lips while I turned
him over, in the coma position,

checked his airway, called an ambulance,
waited when they rushed in, placing
oxygen on his face as he slowly came
back to time well before his memory

ever did he couldn't remember who
I was although something registered in
the reptilian part of his brain and he
knew I'd never hurt him and he knew

I was safe and while he couldn't remember
my name he mouthed the word 'wife'
in amongst the precious gift his drooling
smile he had the strength to decline

an invitation to the hospital which left
me with no choice but to work night
duty at home I watched his breathing,
checked his pulse, moistened

his lips and it was as grand as a brand
new day beaming hope and all good
things when he woke, staggered to the
shower, lost in the steamy forgetfulness

except there was one thing he couldn't
forget and just when I was making coffee
I heard the car pull out the driveway and
he was gone, just like that he was gone

so I waited and while I waited got sick
of waiting and resented the time of waiting
a frozen morning frozen in my mind when he
complained he was tired and out of reach

taunting as he swallowed a bottle of sleeping
tablets and the staggering toward a time
I didn't know and he fell into it, I call the
ambulance again and I didn't know men

were capable of swooning and there he was,
he kept swooning or it could have been one
big swoon captured in time and it was too soon
he refused to go to the hospital and I left

him to find some time and found him in a
dark and dangerous mood, furious I may have
a different time than him when I asked him
to leave he kept phoning and I learnt with time

to hang up until the day there was something
in the timing of his voice and I knew I knew I knew
it was terribly wrong and I knew he was losing
it and losing time and when the hospital rang to

say he was in ICU, not expected to live 24 hours,
would I like to come in, say goodbye and didn't
they know time and time again I had said goodbye
and didn't they know I saw him under white sheets,

tubes coming from and entering his mouth,
his chest, his belly and he was white as well
and I said goodbye to someone who wasn't listening,
who was frozen in time like the rabbits on the road

on my way home I didn't hit any, everything
was cool and cloudless as I walked in the door
my heart smashed the day I don't know if the tears
were some sort of relief I wish I could delete.