Regression happens with age,
bodies morph into sharp, geometric
renditions of flesh with insipid harsh angles.
Her face engulfed by the caverns her sockets make,
muddied pools empty and still
with no flickering fire cast about the walls.
The skin stretched over her face looks waxy
and I beckon the notion to call Madame Tussaud,
but this woman lacks singular importance in the world,
one old leaf ready to be blown about
and put back to the earth. No accolades for her
I sit here in the dark watching her breath hover,
the vapor shaped in the image of Gabriel,
and I let the room escape me..
Her collarbone creates a valley
that could hold the Black Sea, her mind lost
somewhere between youth and release,
and I want to touch the sweat collecting there.
Her salted life seeping up from her center
as if a spring of ground water.
My fingers reach out silently
as she opens her eyes in one, small moment
of lucidity to ask me,
“Am I still alive?”
Her face alight in that second
showing me the heartbreak of lovers, meals cooked,
children swaddled, and presents given with knowing.
“Yes,” I tell her, “yes.”