Comfort Measures

Written by Sabrina Lue Tam (c2017).

From the moment we are born,
We are dying—
But it doesn’t seem to matter
Until someone gives us a reason to doubt
We will wake up tomorrow.

Then we are afraid to fall asleep,
Every blink feels like a kiss of lidocaine
(2%, with fear)
Are we still breathing? (For how long?)

In that moment, you want to remember their faces.
The ones whose names probably
Glitter gold in the adipose tissue cushioning your heart
You want the texture of their smiles etched
On the insides of your eyelids
So even if you don’t wake up
You won’t be alone.

“Don’t let me forget.
Don’t let me forget that until I die
I am still alive,
And I still love you—
Even then, I won’t stop loving you when my heart does.
I won’t stop, ever.”

Their names will be held tight
In the embrace of the crinkles by your eyes
When you laugh.
You keep laughing
So you will not let them go.

It will be hard for them, but
They will remember the sound of your voice, the
Warmth in your touch;
They will remember your name as a feeling of home
Not as a carving in stone
That cradles raindrops in its curves and lines
And reminds them that you may be gone now,
But you were here, and
You are loved.

Please, do not ask
How much time you have left.
Do not ask me to count your days,
To measure the number of kisses your lips still have,
The number of thank-yous that will go unsaid
The litres of forgiveness you need to pour before they
Sour into regret—

If you want to share your
Could have’s and would have’s and should have’s, I
Will carry them as scars, like
Childhood lessons learned with sutures and skinned knees.

No, instead,

We shall make them will be’s and have been’s, and
If you don’t wake up in the morning,
I am here.
You will not be alone.

2 thoughts on “Comfort Measures

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