*for my mother* 


Yellow light casts its glow across the halls, ghoulish,

Empty except for the sounds of whirring machines and soft feet.

The halls open into a room where skeletons reside,

Staring blankly from black, wheeled chairs,

Talismans of death in a place of rest


Eyes yellow like the sun,

And skin to match.

Limbs so thin, matchsticks,

Spotted in splotches of purple and black,

Decorations of dried blood etched in crimson,

Cracked purple lips that quiver in place of talking

Ready to suck at the straw, animalistic,

As if the mouth belonged to that of a starving, suckling pig.

 Hacks reverberating through a weak chest,

Blood and mucus rise and bubble up through holes in the oxygen mask.


Eyes glazed, covered in a film of delirium,

The mouth speaks, but speaks no words,

Sounds incomprehensible to the human ear,

Then when words come forth they make no sense,

Talk of going outdoors, feeding the cat,

Soon the sounds altogether come to rest


Rest is frantic breathing and a rabbit’s heart,

Then the forehead begins to burn and each second that ticks

Away is a lifetime spent in laboring breath.

Fever burns with flames so quick

That disintegration of the body is imminent

Septic soul, what little hope there was slips through the walls

As one glance into the nurses’ eyes tells all


Hours pass and eyes stay shut

People come and go – it’s all the same

He’s coming, we tell her, he’s coming, he’s coming

Yet it’s all the same

The breathing becomes the sound that fills our ears

The flame burning beneath the surface of yellowed skin fills our fingertips


Another night has fallen; the yellow light stays the same

But he comes, he comes

We tell her, he’s here

The ashen, stone eyes, all at once, flicker; the arms rise

Like those of a puppet pitifully strung up by the strings of a puppeteer

Possessed for a moment before falling back into

The everlasting world of corrugated lips and lids shut over yellow eyes


Ticks of time take the tubes away one by one

The walls press in, stupefying us, stilling us in the world of unreality

Stuck in the sticky folds of a nightmare

It’s all a matter of time

Not knowing while in the sunlight, while superbowl cheers ring through the air,

Is remembering that time is dear


The call tells us to hurry; the heart skips a beat,

Rushing from the sunlight into the yellow,

A false smile plasters itself upon the face until the words hit the ear

Then the ear hears the silence, the stillness

The eyes see the void between the parted, cracked lips

The hand is still warm,

But squeeze the hand; it won’t squeeze back

He and I are draped over a corpse,

Fallen back into the unreality, only to find it real

As tears tick against the linoleum, cold begins to seep through the hands, the arms,

Frost invading the veins where fire reigned

Until a kiss upon the cheek, is a kiss upon ice, the kiss of the dead.


Our goodbye frozen into the mind of time,

Preserved, yet at the same time, gone

Upon the backs of rainbow balloons flying over the ocean waves,

A spot of color in the sky, amongst a backdrop of gray

Sparkling cider is cracked open in a toast of love and memory


But love is not found in red sparkling liquid in paper cups,

Liquid love is hot red blood pumping through a dying heart

And the holding of a chapped, bruised hand until that hand has long since lost its heat


Is not the end of love,

But a resurrection of it.

It wakes you from your sleep. 


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