The machines beep.
Your chest moves up
and down,
forced by the air
flowing through the tube
taped to your face.  

Your dark hair is damp
with sweat,
and pushed
to one side
of your forehead.  

The tube pulls at
your mouth.
In dreams of frustration
your jaws clench
making the alarm chime.  

You are asleep
and it’s easier to be here
when you don’t know
that I’m in the room.

-Maggie Brewer