“slow” Dark Poetry by Suzanne Kelsey


when I saw her
[lying face up] [breath shallow and slow]
I knew it was time. 
as I approached, one tear rolled down her temple and slowly around her ear.
I reached out to catch it 
with the tender pad of my finger
but when my skin touched hers
I thought I heard a whimper
(or maybe a moan)
fall out of her mouth. 

that made me angry

I don’t like when they do that
I thought she was different
than the others
	all the ones before

though she couldn’t turn her head
her eyes found mine
and for a moment
my breath became very hard to catch

I had to turn away then, giving her only my back upon which to stare
opening the cupboards, I pulled down my supplies
[my tools]
jostling them a bit so she would know what I was doing, what was coming.
when I faced her again, tray in hand, 
her eyes were closed, wrinkles forming at the corners from her effort

she would not open them again

I leant down 
	whispering -you were my favorite- 
	brushing my lips against her eyelids
	pressing the damp cloth over her mouth and nose

I laid two fingers against the delicate spot on her neck, my thumb resting under her chin.
I held the cloth, my fingers, [my own breath]
until I felt her heartbeats 

Suzanne is currently permitted to share residence with her 16-year-old cat. In between brushing and feeding Miss Poo, Suzanne enjoys trying new recipes, listening to audiobooks, writing, and drinking wine. Her works have appeared in 1807, Bartleby, and Children, Churches, & Daddies. 

If you would like to be part of The Chamber Magazine family, follow this link to the submissions guidelines. If you like more mainstream fiction and poetry with a rural setting and addressing rural themes, you may also want to check out Rural Fiction Magazine. While you’re here, why not drop by The Chamber’s bookshop?

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