by Andrew Miller of Wisconsin
i sat along the edge of her mattress
and held her hand in mine
and i gazed at her pale sleeping face
knowing it was almost time
and she lay gaunt beneath the sheets
while the cancer scurried and fed
and instruments glowed in the dark
splashing green across the bed...
and her eyes opened in the stillness
in a moment of quiet lucidity
and she squeezed my hand for a time
and almost managed to smile at me
and our eyes spoke volumes
while a single solemn shining tear
traced it's way across her cheek
speaking words we'd never hear...
and i leaned slowly forward
brushing her hair from her face
and dried her tear with my lips
as my heart began to race
and as her last breath faded away
she whispered to me "i love you"
and as a silent storm raged outside
i whispered back: "i love you too..."
later that week we laid your body
in a casket laden with tears and flowers
and we reminisced about the good times
for a few darkened lonely hours
and the wind moaned mounfully
as it scuttled dry leaves across the dirt
and a pale mist permeated the air
chilling me deeply thru my black silk shirt...
and i returned later when all were gone
to say my solemn goodbyes in peace
and i laid some roses across your grave
standing in whipping winds that never cease
and i reached to the sky and called your name
screaming "Why'd you take her from me?!?"
and i swear i almost heard your voice
whispering thru the cemetery trees...
i drove home that night in falling rain
to our cold and lonely apartment,
i laid my keys on the glass center table
recalling all the times we'd spent,
and i walked across the room
and ran my finger across the doorway,
remembering the faded mistletoe,
"that ol' green piece of shit" as you'd say...
and i laughed quietly with teary eyes
as i wandered over to your overcoat
hanging askew as ever on the rack
and i felt a lump in the back of my throat
as i lifted the empty sleeves in my hands
and breathed in your faintly cloying scent,
and i remember the night you showed me it
hell, i even remember how much you spent...
i paced the room a while longer
almost feeling your hand in mine
and i walked with your ghost that night
reminiscing over all our time
and i touched each object in the room
sensing all the memories held within
all those precious sacred holy thoughts
of what was and what was to have been...
and i sank back into the couch
with a glass held tightly in hand
remembering that night on the beach
when we made love in the sand
and i sifted thru our pictures
remembering everything thru all the years
and i sat there slowly dying
and fell asleep drinking whiskey and tears...
i swear you came to me that night
as the candles flickered and burned low
and i awoke myself with my dreams,
god i had never wanted you to go
but you rode in on the silent wind
enshrouded in darkness and mist
and before you made me fall asleep again
you gave me one last final kiss
and when i awoke in the morning
after dreaming of when i'd held you near
i stumbled into the bathroom and saw
your lipstick on my cheek within the mirror..
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