A boy wakes me in the night, afraid of monsters.
His breathing rattle rattles.
I lay down in the bed beside him
And point out the night-shapes
Of towels and blankets and other boys.
The window panes press in on us
But his lungs are louder. The cabinet
Stops us seeing each other’s faces:
I lift my arm so he can tell I’m still alive.
He coughs and struggles, perhaps asleep,
Perhaps not. I think of dialling 999
But something of the darkness stops me.
In the morning, the boy tells me goodbye.
A man I nearly know dies in transit. I strip
100 sheets from 100 beds, thinking of nothing.