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The Lingering and the Unconsoled Heart
by Michael R. Burch

There is a silence—
the last unspoken moment
before death,

when the moon,
cratered and broken,
is all madness and light,

when the breath comes low and complaining,
and the heart is a ruin
of emptiness and night.

There is a grief—
the grief of a lover's embrace
while faith still shimmers in a mother’s tears ...

There is no gruesomer time, nor place,
while the faint glimmer of life is ours
that the lingering and the unconsoled heart fears

beyond this: seeing its own stricken face
in eyes that drift toward some incomprehensible place.

Keywords/Tags: lingering, unconsoled, heart, death, bed, deathbed, silence, last, rites, hospice, eternity, finality, infinity, grave
brrEXIT
by Michael R. Burch

what would u give
to simply not exist—
for a painless exit?
he asked himself, uncertain.

then from behind
the hospital room curtain
a patient screamed—
"my life!"

Originally published by Setu. Keywords/Tags: brexit, death, exit, suicide, euthanasia, quick, painless, hospital, patient, hospice, final, curtain, existence, nonexistence
Kelly Landis Jan 2019
Losing my mom before my 30's taught me a lot about life. It's short. Short in the "she was in remission for eight years, there's no way it could come back" short. Because it did. Come back.

It showed me what it feels like when the air is physically ****** out of the room - the feeling of a soul leaving the body. And that even the most private of people may still want their family surrounding them during their last breaths. It taught me how to administer the correct amount of morphine, consol a father who is inconsolable and pick the "perfect" urn. I learned there is a part of myself I will never get back because I was a part of her and she a part of me.

I will never just 'get over this.'
Somedays I feel like no one remembers or cares and for that Mom, I am sorry.
I know you're never coming back but I still somehow hold onto a small sliver of hope that you will.
And when I realize you're not,
The wave hits me again.
And again
Onto my *** and each time
It becomes harder and harder to stand back up.
Because... this needed to be said.
J L James Oct 2018
This fragile body hosts an infinite soul
whose human form may not be whole.
What may appear a tragic rift
is in fact a precious gift
to those whose spirits are attuned.
Extending our own body and soul
to others is what we truly know.
Often outside walls close in
with loneliness and credit cards spread thin,
as advocacy with officialdom weighs in.
But nothing will change what you do,
for this is what carers know.
Each body hosts an infinite soul.
Jonathan Surname Aug 2018
For some reason I felt compelled to share with others, strangers I guess, I never met them.
Strangers then. Compelled to share with them you. To prove to people who never knew us that I loved you. That we were lovers.
I wonder if I harp on that word too often. Bet I do.

I do.

I connected the misery of your loss into The Antlers - Hospice.
In some cowardly preoccupation with signaling the virtues of  a luminous man I pretended in due process. Much of me as you must understand.

You were a woman and a girl.
And I forced myself under to suffer in some actual mourning.
So a world built on my word.
My hands need rest.
My mind needs rest.
I want to stop.

I'd swallow a breathful of Plath-itudes.
If it'd quieten the lore of some rolling hill of you.
Somewhere scrawled in a red oak desk,
Borders and plyings a mess.

I likened you to a spectre.
For a literal in lieu

Why can't I let up off myself.
Why won't I accept love.

You are the woman protagonist in a fiction
And only your performance merits applause.
listened to The Antlers - Hospice while on LSD
and wrote this poem about a darling woman i abused
and lost
Nico Reznick May 2018
She writes to him in the hospice,
his widow-in-waiting.  A girl at her care home
brings her envelopes, colourful pens, sheets of paper in
pastel shades, and takes her missives to
Reception to go out with the mail.
She writes to him, keeping her messages short so
the nurses have time to read them to him, and because
he gets tired so quickly now.
She encloses copy photographs for the nurses to
show to him, pictures of their adventures together:
them in hiking boots and toting backpacks atop a
Saxon burial mound; picnicking and almost sunburnt
beside a vast lake reflecting a perfect, bygone blue sky
in its tranquil surface; on a sandy Welsh beach, building a
campfire from smooth, soft-grained, bone-pale driftwood; him
asleep on a train, his head resting on luggage
and hat pulled down over eyes.
In one communiqué she writes:
“I’m sorry you took the mountains with you.”
She means – she explains to the care home girl
who brings her stationery and takes her mail – that
when he moved to the hospice and she to the care home,
all the photos of their mountain holidays – the Vogelsberg,
the Dolomites, Monte Rosa, Chamonix – had been
packed up along with his possessions, and put in storage
by his family.  She sends him copies of
the only photos she has left.
And that is what she means, but not just that.
It’s been a long time since she stomped mud off of
hiking boots, or felt that gorgeous ache in her muscles
from a long, hard climb, or kissed in a cable-car,
or let the wind tan her face as she breathed
rarefied air.  Those summits seem very far away,
and the woman who once scaled them never could have dreamed
that life could become so flattened.

In some quiet room, a nurse shows him the photographs.  
A heart monitor describes
a craggy range of peaks and dips; each elevation, every ascent,
could be a terminal journey.  Soon, one surely will.
The nurse can’t tell if he hears her as she reads to him,
“I’m sorry you took the mountains with you.”
Based on true events.  Working with the elderly can be a beautiful sort of heartbreaking at times.
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