by Jacqueline Markowski
again, to I-77. You slipped away
when no one was looking.
I won’t clutter these lines
with should have’s. I was not whole,
fractured into generational halves,
needs divvied. When I crossed the river
I was already there, cursing humidity,
ghosts fogging the windshield.
I entered the vase of your empty room,
stepping around weeks’ old flowers,
their sweet musk sewn into
the still water around us. Peaceful.
Your brow newborn smooth. I hovered
over you, terrified that your eyes
would flap open, terrified that your eyes
would not open. You lay, unhooked.
I peered into your fixed half–
moon mouth, braced myself
for the familiar breath of cancer
that did not come.
Jacqueline Markowski lives and writes in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in San Pedro River Review, Kentucky Review, Storm Cycle, Rainbow Journal, Halfway Down the Stairs, and Blast Furnace and is forthcoming in Bird’s Thumb, and S/tick. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she won first place at the Sandhills Writer’s Conference and was a semi-finalist for the 2014 Auburn Witness Poetry Prize. She is currently working on a collection of poetry.