Most people here to visit
their family
won’t make eye contact
with me.

They know I’m probably
on the way out,
and eye contact
might humanize me.

As it stands,
I’m just the
bag of bones
whining in the
bed next door.
An inconvenience
that should just
shut up.

They pay more attention
to their phones
than their family.
We die alone in crowded rooms.

I’ve seen them come and go.
Whether they recovered,

Either way,
they don’t come back.

After a while,
it becomes the same thing.

They always promise to
come back and visit,
but then life happens.
Or the other thing.

I’m a lifer,
whatever that means
and however long that is.

I want to tell these interlopers
I was a person once,
and that one day
they won’t be.

The sick glow
of their faces
in cell phone light
makes me roll over
and pray for sleep.

-GD Butler

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