You were a twenty-one-year-old Black man.
When we received you, your eyes were open
I asked if you could hear me
You whispered a phone number and “Mom.”
To the green sterile operating room
With your breaths of anesthesia,
Your final conscious moments
Your pain ceased.
We worked on you for hours, Terrell.
I swear we tried
With fourteen units of O negative
Surgeons explored your wounds.
They clamped your major arteries.
Until your heart failed
And we watched you leave us.
I was a ...