Without You

I’m lying here where your brittled form lay curled and breathing not so long ago. Your skin turned sour and your voice too soft. I held your fingers and turned away from you folding in upon yourself. Breath held and eyes swimming, open upon a ceiling of smooth meringue. A collapsing seed planted in a mound of smooth white linen. It’s been an entire year upon this salted tide, the cold water that rushed in to fill the depression in your half of the mattress. Everything else undisturbed; a brown bottle of hand cream, a cabinet of pills, a closet of clothes. That moment every time I open your front door and feel a catch in my throat as I realize the voice I’m hearing is only between my ears.

You forgot Luca’s name in the hospital, that final time. Called him by another. How it ravages me to think of you in that hospital bed, a fresh nightgown daily from your dutiful husband. Being spoon fed soup until you fell asleep. Lips slack, face yellowing. Those words that dropped out of your mouth as my father made the statement “you’re standing on the edge of a brand new adventure”, your cloudy eyes wide, your face sincere, “I really am, Pete”.

And then those horrific days where you remained. Slipping, slipping. Ever smaller amongst those pillows until you disappeared altogether. A piece of driftwood where a great oak had stood. 

The family knit themselves together over you, a blanket of hands and hearts to try to keep you warm that early autumn day.

Now this baby like fresh risen dough sleeping where you should be. Draped with a forest green knit that still smells of you. Toes like podded peas poking through.

Published by chloeroselilly

Samples of my poetry, fiction and personal essays in amongst real life

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