Ritual for Nighttime

 

You would say, Okay if I need to turn on the light?

The switch is here in arms reach

If I want to stop the music?

Push this button on top

If I need you?

I am ten feet away on the couch

If I have trouble breathing?

We will turn the oxygen up

If I need more dilaudid?

We will put it in your G-tube slowly

so you don’t throw it back up

Okay?

Okay

Let me just make sure I am clear

Okay

The light

The music

You 

Oxygen

Pain meds

Then you would give me a sly little smile

Now I will be good

And we would laugh

And then

Both go to sleep

Sometimes for an hour

Sometimes for two

Then we would be up again

Light

Music

Me

You

Oxygen

Pain

And sips of water

I would climb in bed with you

We would watch Arrested Development

Desk Set or Persuasion on loop

Drift in and out

Talk to or about the cat

Sometimes you would be scared

And I would comfort you

Or I would be scared

And you would say

I’m okay, love

Okay

Light

Music

Me

You

Oxygen

Pain

Sips of water

Laughter

The whirring of the pump

The arranging of the various tubes

Moving pillows

Positions

Foot rubs

And maybe

A little sleep

Mixed in between

Our long loving

Journey

Through night

To one 

more 

day.