The Sun Also Burns

I thought only babies could be jaundiced

that it was the healthy glow of birth

of newness

but you stared up at me with yellow eyes

set in skin

yellow as stale butter


just two days ago you joked

about being a real-life Simpson character

it was the last time I heard you laugh

and you got yellower still

as the light left you


you had flirted with the nurses

but yesterday you asked

in a solemn rasp

to be moved to a roadside room

so you could hear the traffic

the comforting mechanical flow

of other lives


there is no easy way to say it

so, they just say it

your organs are failing

there is nothing more they can do

and we wait in silence

holding hands, staring at each other



I had always been afraid

not of death

but of the when, the why, the where

but you

you went before me

and made it

and that makes it alright



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