it was not the way a tube was jammed
into her throat like a drinking straw
shoved through the plastic lid of a frozen malt

it was not the last remark
she scribbled onto the message board
because words were unavailable

it was how her hands were tied
to the stainless-steel bed rails
after they took away her black marker

* For Carol Elaine. Originally appeared in Stirring v3e10, written under the name Kit Sullivan
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