The last link

Some time after you were diagnosed, I took a photo of you. Your gaunt face was like an omen, or a beacon: I couldn’t decide. When they took you in for good – the end game you called it – I kept it with me. The more I looked at it, the less it gave me. One day a gust of wind blew it out of my hands into some thistle; as I bent down to pick it up it blew away. I sat for hours looking at you propped up in that stiff alien gown, a glass of stale water on your bedside table. You’d look at me with a remote smile. Your skin was yellow and gave off a chemical odour. I thought, It’s spinning its cocoon around you, you’re shrivelling; or maybe falling through the veil at last, breathing yourself out and away. When the end game had been played out, I stole the glass and brought it home. I watched it grow grimy and studied the fading marks of your fingers and lips. Until it became just another object, it was saturated with your presence, the last link.

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3 responses to “The last link

  1. Your words are so stark and so rich. They hang on the white canvas, howling and staring back at the reader and saying nothing and saying everything and daring us to look, or look away. Your authenticity and courage are immense, and very appreciated.

    Please stop by and visit http://www.rachelsnyder.wordpress.com. Dancing with words there, too, though differently rhythmed.

  2. despairsquared

    I liked this, especially the fading marks on the glass. The most harrowing, but ultimately touching, aspect of all experience is fading, presence becoming absence, or loss. I’d pour some whisky into the glass and drink to her.

  3. ‘I’d pour some whisky into the glass and drink to her.’

    Absolutely!

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