My eyes feast upon the book—
the colors and the contrasts,
the cursive with the curlicues,
the lines and the shadows.
I gaze outside through the open window,
a breath of wind parting the sheer curtains
to reveal the soul inside the outside:
tangerine, ruby, and violet—
a fruit, a rock, a flower—
all weapons in the right light.
The light diminishes,
the barometer is going kablooey.
I reach behind me to turn on the lamp,
but my eyes are wide open
when everything goes dark.
My ears feast on the sounds of music,
the fluid art of language,
the happiness in laughter,
the clinking of a spoon against a teacup,
ice in a glass.
“I Love Lucy” is on,
and I can hear humor and humanity—
the very lightness of being.
It is a comfort.
I feel the flickers on my face,
bathing me in the golden glow of black and white.
I can smell the honeysuckle outside my window,
remembering the bead of dew on the tip of my tongue.
We are our memories.
And then everything goes silent.
My nose feasts on the aromas of fresh-picked fruit,
of flowers, a lemon cake cooling on the counter;
of the smell of green tea soap after a shower.
I can smell the rain I know is coming down,
the salt from the ocean,
the mist that is like a dewy shroud.
I lick my lips, trace them with my finger.
The Earth is more alive than we are.
I turn my face to the scarf my mother left that last day,
expecting the powdery, floral scent of White Shoulders.
but the fragrance is gone,
and without smell,
My tongue feasts on the crispness of a Honeycrisp apple,
the light crunch of a raw cashew,
the creamy, savory mouthfeel of fontina,
the subtle sweetness of dark chocolate,
the slight bitterness of espresso with steamed milk and agave nectar.
I want the chewiness of something—
I’ve always made meals of varying temperatures,
I reach my way to the kitchen on bare feet,
the tiles cold now,
but it is my last chance.
I find the focaccia.
I chew, but the taste is gone.
My touch feasts on the softness of my baby’s unblemished cheek,
my baby, now quiet,
but accepting all the same.
I reach for the glass of water,
letting the coolness of it glide over my hands,
I let you enfold us,
you the head,
I the heart,
my fingers threading through the fine, blond hair on your arms.
I delight in the warm whisper that tickles my ear that can no longer hear,
and I know I am not alone.
I can feel the moonbeams being placed over my eyes like daisies,
and then not at all.
A worldwide phenomenon,
a rapturing of all our senses—
a rapid metamorphosis.
We lie in beds,
sit in chairs,
wait, pray, sleep for the inevitable—
a moment of silence stretched into eternity.
We are a stopped clock with no face,
huddled together with those we love most,
having found each other by scrambling in the dark still night,
awaiting the last of the plagues.
We know not whether our eyes are open or closed,
whether it is hot or cold,
but I know you are near,
and there is no pain.