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And a steady beeping
From machines in the corner.
The pungent scent of painkillers
Dripping from soggy, cloudy bags
Hanging from a speckled ceiling.
Soft wrinkles fell over each other,
Draped on the old women’s ghost-white face
Like the white curtains
On the white walls of the white room.
With her bone arms and white lips,
A tiny stagger of air
Burns her lungs like she swallowed fire
Fire that eats her away to nothing
Burning away her favorite memories.
Memories of softball in the street as a kid,
Of her mother’s favorite sweater,
Of holding her own whimpering child,
Tears in both their eyes.
Memories of the first coughs
The first monster ripping her chest apart
And how her daughter held her close as she cried;
The memories of love.
The fire is burning slower now
Fading, like a spurt of clear water
With no more pain, a twitch of her lips,
A faint smile forms
Across her broken face.
She sinks into the white bed
In the white room with the white walls
And the beeping stops.