Poetry

Mortal

The first time I thought about your death,
there was a tumor in your brain and your
18 year-old heart beat with an unruly mind of its own.
You took frequent trips to the doctor,
stripped of metal and dignity under the
menacing cadence of an MRI machine.
Together, we burned up the salt shakers and cursed time.

I watch my brother, marching across a brittle field
of terror that stretches into days of
breaking wings and waiting for test results.
The hands of a dying clock thud and sputter,
pulling me into the unforgiving mouths of rip tides.
You will soon become silence and ash.

Sitting for hours like ebony rock, I search
for memories in the unraveling snapshots of our childhood,
struggling to remember the bright pitch of your boyish laugh.
I close my eyes and the patient rhythm
of your breath fades into the lilting seasons,
turning into vapor on my lashes.
I sink into the bitter teeth of untimely death.

Susan Richardson is living, writing and going blind in Los Angeles. She shares a home with an Irishman, 2 pugs and 2 cats. She was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in 2002, and in addition to poetry also writes a blog called Stories from the Edge of Blindness.

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