Monthly Archives: April 2008

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; 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.