WHITE CELLS IN, BLOOD OUT
She had become a sagging creature of dust in the days
We left her there; uneven lips and protruding navel,
A cleaving disgrace to the churn of milk stain mappers
In gleaming uniform. Her voice was a whisper
Lost in the crepe-coloured pages of Balzac, only
To be found again in the plastic mould of a running tap beside.
When she spoke, no one listened. Silence
Is both a well-kept bijou and the damnedest of crooning beasts.
She would die in the unfolding of an esoteric drama, the doctor said
In a paper-crisp accent that matched his wordless coat; pain
Pulsating against the humdrum beat of a ruined fortune. Hers
Was in my hands, greasy with the oil-light
Of years spent decaying. No, it had not been hers.
Now she would never know. That she could have died surrounded
By family, greedy-eyed and waiting for the last, absorbing breath,
Death welcomed like the taste of dissolved sea after seismic dusk. But, perhaps,
This is better.