tonight her breathing’s more shallow. i try to find her favorite songs. search quickly on my iPad. “mack the knife ” by Bobby; replays of Vera’s, “we’ll meet again.” but mostly i just talk and she listens. eyes glued shut in coma-land..well past morning i kiss her rice-paper face. stroke her white hair. a voice is crying, calling mama, mama. a word back from dead. executed in the land of assimilation. just after noon mama curls in fetal position. i keep watch: rise and fall of out-of-breath beats. too soon it comes. ebb tide.
enters a hand
long held in mine