The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton
An estranged sense of desolation comes at odd moments,
unbidden and unexpected. Turning to speak, she remembers
there is no one there to hear her now as her voice catches
on a single sound, its nuance fading, suddenly dimmed
by the realization of being utterly alone.
Night seems thicker, like syrup, and more empty somehow
as her moments pause, then cease to matter. She is weary
of fighting the day's demands, worn by her surrender
to shadows' solemn glare, glancing back into her hollowed eyes
as if in accusation, berating her skin's slowness to fade
into a wan gray spectre, blaming her for the air
she still struggles to breathe beyond a mere gasping.
She slips into a tepid bath before bed, sinking low
in the cold porcelain tub until her face is submerged -
her eyes close,
unwilling to look beneath these fragile depths.
She imagines succumbing
to the pull of the tide must feel this way,
this curling flesh harvested beneath brittle nails,
hands sloshing, drifting, both plumped and pruned
by a dearth of dryness and light.