She listens to the breathing
a fading shallow whisper
his rhythm less steady.
Sometimes she turns in bed
shifting to the side of her failing ear
deserting most details of night.
Fragile sleep becomes fragmented
again she is awakened to count his breathing
exhalations seeping from a frail man's lungs.
At night they sleep in an old bed
a mattress holds their impressions
yet their bodies become less familiar each day.
During bits of sleep and dreams
do they listen to their once young voices
that linger above the failing bed?
Do they recall their breaths floating
entwined above a new bed where sleep was not sought
nor the hours of night counted?
Now he whispers
and she warily listens
to this passing conversation
Gregory Zeorlin 11/27/2007 5:45am + 12/12/2007 10pm.