The deepest being

being a longing to

satisfy a longing for

a solitude of two.

Laurence Joseph

My favorite person is in searing pain,

choked up, the words nine-one-one

refuse to leave my palsied mouth.

The operator keeps asking: “Are you there?”

I finally blurted out a gurgled address.

A zig-zagging ambulance swerves, sirens

blasting like medieval heralds blowing the sound

of gold trumpets and bagpipes that reach

to the stars.
My blurred vision sees scarlet lights flashing.

I think of my beloved’s blood swirling under masked

doctors mauling her insides, her bones as delicate

as a bird’s broken wings.
She already looks like a cadaver with a hoary

visage strapped to a gurney waiting to be tossed

into the fire blazing on the shore of the Ganges.

How to stop shaking, holding back tears listening

to the distant thrum of a mourning song?

Feeling numb and bereft watching a suddenly

shut door on the best part of my life.

I must continue to breathe; she was the air, water

and light that allowed me to thrive. I can’t stop

thinking about the soft curve of her hips, the breasts

and limbs of her body, remembering kisses on her

translucent skin.
Returning home to an empty house awaiting absolute solitude,

I have flashbacks of a ritual of the tenderest of moments.

Opening the door, the bottom falls out of my heart.

Milton P. Ehrlich