From the Secondhand Survivor #LunchBreakPoetry

by S.A. Prince

I saw you in a dream last night, face wrinkled and hanging like meat on hooks at the local Steigerwald. It wasn’t very far off, only a decade or so. The light that had previously radiated through your deep brown eyes is now a mere shell of its former self, a flickering pilot dimmed by the years. We lived wildly like rabid rabbits in a pasture of carrots, each one crunchy and crisp to the bite. You were so hungry you never noticed, but as you nibbled I stared and smiled as your ears wiggled between savory bites. So alive. So in the moment. So carefree. And now I stroke, petting the remnants of your once flowing brunette locks, the back of your neck pale and cold to the touch where my thumb and index used to rub the stress of your day away. Holding your frail 80 pounds close, I rest my head in your no longer plentiful bosom. It was then that you ran your gel polished nails through my coarse and curly hair black hair. I can’t remember when you last mustered the strength. What remains is the dimple near your left eye, a beautiful crater I’ve kissed countless. You would giggle and turn to me, nose rubbing against my left cheek until our lips meet at the rendezvous. You laughed at everything, cornball. These days though, what’s happy is sad, and what’s sad is unbearable. There are no more happy moments. You lay and you wheeze. And I hate every breath you take, your only action these days, a painful reminder of your desire to fag on. Every pack, every light, every drag drew you closer to this rolling casket fitted with electronic accessories, hidden away in your own personal apartment of death. And I YOUR PROTECTOR watched helplessly as life was snatched from your carcass until you wheezed no more. And as I took my lips back from yours one last time there was an after taste of nickel, tar, and tobacco. A glorious curtain call from your fucking virus. What a show…

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