you are old now.
this is how
it happens, right?
all those years of working
just leading up to a couch
and a blaring television.
you hold long wisps of white hair
and eyes that look but don’t see.
your mind goes out like the tide,
it drifts off somewhere.
in that place of pause,
that place of stillness,
you ask how i was feeling.
in two decades, you haven’t.
for twenty years, you’ve looked at me
but have never seen me.
now, with your fragility
and mortality watching you,
in a small room
with a loud television,
you ask how I am feeling.
but I think you see a younger
version of yourself
tucked somewhere in me.
“how are you?”
it is in that moment of lucidity,
in the stillness where
the delicate place where alzheimer’s
has lost its grip,
where I am just a mirror.
“how are you?”
but it isn’t a question for me.
you are asking,
‘did i live? or
just exist.’
but the tide goes out,
a stillness returns,
and you resume existing.

a figure with

long legs stretches

shadows blur the

hands upon skin

two figures now

shadows merge

them together

one being with

long legs stretching

now, it is cold here.
my back stiff, like a plank.
a million times
and still my first.
“okay, jeremiah..”
but i ignore the rest –
i know the routine,
this is my first time
after a million.
i want to say, “thank you”
as they look,
as my body is searched
for disease,
but i am tired.
so i lay still,
my back stiff and still,
like a plank;
after a million times,
yet always my first.

breathe.
i have not forgotten how to,
but i wonder
how i learned.
these breaths i hold,
have you also tasted
the same air?
how did i learn this?
who held my mouth open
and put these words
in it,
words like “i”
and “you.”

I thought, ‘this is all there is.’
It was such a normal thought,
as though I had had this belief a hundred times.
It is a reexamination of so very much.
It might seem apathetic or numb.
it wasn’t –
It was true,
human – it is so very human.