A bead of sweat falls in his eye.
He squeezes them shut,
releasing drops of liquid rage.
Opening, they dart around the antiseptic walls
flickering across a dozen hands
which tighten with his tension
and tense when he relaxes.
All except two.
His leg flails free.
A scramble for silver keys jangling to the floor.

One leather buckled.

The keys retrieved.
The nurse barks – “roll him, Now.”
A yelp as needle stabs at muscle.

Two leathers buckled.

Incoherent bellows echo through the halls,
mingling with the silent chatter of companions unseen
and the wordless commands of demons unnamed.

Three leathers buckled.

A diatribe on the poor treatment of working class soccer balls in Asia
dissolves into a reverie of the secret lives grasshoppers lead in the winter.

Four leathers buckled.

Only one set of hands remains, wary of relaxing their grip again.
These fade from his touch
as the sedation seeping from the syringe
quells the last chorus of his song-
curiously apropos for the occasion.

Leaving the staff in awkward silence.

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