The little one

The little one has mucus gathered at her nose this evening and she lays in my arms unpurring and still, onyx eyes open.  

Her tiny animal heart 

beats at a speed she surely cannot take for too long.  

My fingers touch it, fluttering wildly in the cage of her ribs, beneath her front limbs 

when I lift her up to feel the sun. 

The skin of her ears is paper thin, red and veined, translucent and warm.  

He, an old man in a crumpled suit, bones only recently filtered into the earth, bends to sing from his gut, 

while I cannot draw enough air into my lungs by gasping, nor expel enough by sighing.  

There is no equilibrium to the air inside and out.

He is gone, and the one I have distorted my days and my dreams around has not written since his birthday.  No Christmas wishes nor simple words of consolation.  

I grew up the day I stood in the same room as death, 

smelt the breath, slow and stale, and felt the skin turn from blood to wax.  I want to sit with it a while, accept it fully 

and be fearless in our interactions.  

But I don’t want my sweet little companion to go just yet. 

Not with the wheeze in her chest, and this childish ache in mine.

About Louise

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