Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dearly Not Yet Departed

sss sss sss that soft rasp...
Do I know you?
Do I know you any longer?
Grey tinged, hairless, curled,
skin breaking away in pieces, bedsores.
In the olden days, before medical interventions of extraordinary measures,
I'd have held a candle to your lips, waiting for the exhale, the last exhale,
the exhale that leaves the light burning.
In the olden days.
But now, I watch the monitors, blip-blip-blip, etching you on thin strips of green paper.
Kissing you, cool, dry, kissing you goodbye last night, tonight, and I think, tomorrow night, too.
The goodbye kisses will go on as long as there is paper to feed through the machine,
writing your long agos and maybe somedays and most of all, your nows in ink
that will be stored away, protecting someone somewhere from possible future liability issues.
I carry you, inhale your exhalation and the blue flames rise, guiding a chisel on granite.
It writes your name, but it doesn't write you.
I write you. I write you inside me. I write you.

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