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Dinamarie Isola

The Place in Between


It’s been 16 years since your hands slipped through mine
like leaves blowing in a howling storm
I curled up on two dining room chairs
your hospital bed swallowed space between us

Your disease, a thief, stole bits of you
while we were sleeping, or laughing at riddles
we thought ourselves too stupid to understand
until we were just too stupid to accept

Your fingerprints striped, like layers of old paint
Your watchful hazel eyes turned colorless muck
The twinkle replaced by a cold, flat fish stare
Where did you go when your eyes went dead?
Were our names locked in a box hidden by your mind?

I kissed your head—a fairy tale wish
to bring back what was yours, what was mine
Your eyes stayed closed, your mouth an exact line
Until all I could do was to kiss the hands
that once held mine to walk, dance, and jump ocean waves
and hope that somewhere in your mind you remembered, too
And felt my hand in yours, leading you through

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