the healing muse

Volume 8, 2008

Slipping Away

Jack Coulehan

I’m not saying I didn’t die
when the tap to my brain
tightened to nothing this morning,

but because it felt so good
with my pain gone and the scene
turned so topsy-turvy in this

mechanical room, death
slipped in behind my back,
but then my sister came—I hadn’t

heard her voice so tense in years—
and the doc explained
that dead is dead despite my heartbeat.

She saw little sparks of the past
sputtering out of me
and started to choke on guilt,

which was falsely pumped up
but true in its own way.
For me the only difference

death made was release from being
pinned to my bed and a sudden
spurt of tolerance, but my sister

demanded to sleep on my death
and decide about the breather
in the morning. I’ll be gone then—

I’m pouring through the pores
of this room, I’m already
feeling the jazz and hormones begin.

Return to Table of Contents, Volume 8, 2008.

Upcoming Events


Accepted annually September 1 through May 1.