Elysium (To Mother)
by Rosemarie Crisafi

A boat drifts in the shade
over your hospital bed
in a stream of oblivion.
A tube suctions blood
collecting burgundy tar
in a plastic flask on the wall.
Mouth open, masked,
your face has died before
your body. Having paid
for passage, your mouth
forms a numeral, a pink
and black zero. I touch
pomegranate skin, ripe
and wrinkled, yellow overlaid
with red. As your lips close,
I ride a black chariot,
mumbling an ancient dialect,
Swallowing forgetfulness, you
do not reply. I let go your hand
at the furthest edge of the world
awash in the rose tint
unable to see beyond
the purple field.

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