Last Breath

Last Breath, photographer Shelli Carlisle 2014

Time ceases to make sense
When you’re waiting for someone to die
Instead of watching the clock
Tic tock-ing away
You listen for breaths

Shallow breaths
Slow breaths
Rattling breaths
No breaths
No breaths
No breaths
Shallow breaths…

Do you know we are here?
Can you hear our whispers,
our concerns, our conversations?

Warm forehead
cold feet
swollen hands
dry, cracked lips
beating heart, beating heart
shallow breaths…

Are you in pain, afraid, angry?
Do you know you are dying?
Are you filled with regret?

No change
Some change
No change
Some response
No response
Shallow breaths…

Family, friends, caretakers, neighbors
coming and going and coming back again,
and again, and again

For you to let go and take
your last breath


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