Fifteen minutes in all – until
resuscitation kicked in – flat
for a full quarter of an hour –
I had to ask – Did you spot a

sign for Heaven or Hell? He
did not say in to which side
he fell – Lain & not a breath
taken in as fists rattled him

[not quite enough to re-set
failings under flesh] – What
we become after this – Lust
isn’t on God’s list of givens-

in-afterlife – he slurred over
sips of his coarse shots – My
clock said a-quarter-to – See
this tremor – his words – it is

my riddle – [& mine reduced
by a reduction in drugs] – &
my ditty – He sung badly – his
song – his croons – flat-lining

as men & women in uniforms
broke two ribs – they pumped
his chest as he left that room –
he rose up for fifteen minutes

& stared – a mild fluster grew
in a filled recovery room – He
looked over his dead exterior
on a bed & thumped air sung

from his loose lungs – shoved
air forced that end-song from
his slack mouth – a dire tune –
We laughed at his last lullaby