Pacing, staring, slumping ’midst the beeping,

they are so focused on The Line.

Is she alive? Don’t let her be dead.

They imagine The Line as a switch, not a dimmer.

I see lines cast by a prism of glass at sunset

while hearts march on from red through violet.

The rubor of a foreign invasion,

or amber urine from dehydration,

jaundice of a single duct dammed,

purulence with virulence selected by man,

to the cyan of cells gasping for air,

or a purple mass she’d prefer laissez faire.

While sitting, waiting, watching each shade,

it’s as hard as declaring the end of a day

when the sun is gone, is it yet fully dark?

Until they drift downstairs, and cross the street to the park

where children play, and couples lay,

and old men gray in trousers frayed.

There this spectrum converges

into bright white light.