A bouquet of wires splays from the pocket
of my hospital gown, wires that connect me
to a heart monitor. I sit rigid in a plastic facsimile
of an overstuffed chair. Sheen of sunlight floods
the room through a window that runs the length
of the wall. Muted, intermittent blips of a distant
monitor punctuate an otherwise silent room.

I try to evaluate my life, wonder if heart failure
is a slow slide to the end. I study the room,
am overwhelmed by details: a single bed
with a knot of blankets piled at the foot,
a bedside table with a box of Kleenex and
a urine bottle containing two hundred milliliters
of saffron urine, an uncomfortable, gray couch
stiff as a coffin. Blue rubber gloves, a stack of
white towels lay on the sink top, ready to be grabbed
by a hasty nurse. I stare at a Walnut closet door
with two silver handles,, think about how
God’s failures have affected me for eighty-three years:
childhood exploited by an alcoholic dad,
the grueling social stigma of belonging
to a minority, a heart weakened at birth by rheumatic fever.
For the moment, my room is unattended by other people.
White walls accentuated by intermittent blue panels
remind me of the limited space I have been forced to live in
for the last four days. I want to go home
more than I wanted change left from money
Mom gave me to buy groceries at Cordel’s corner store
when I was eight. I want to go home
to dishes that need washed, a floor that needs scrubbed,
and a dining room window smudged with the same sun
that warmed tribulations of my youth.