Awake and waiting
In this room together

We are making music with the sound of our breathing
Keeping time with lingering and letting go

We are exchanging poems written with our eyes
Needing words no longer

We are dancing when we are holding hands
Clasping and unclasping on this final round

Awake and waiting
In this room together

Now a caress stirs no movement

Now a kiss goes unreturned

We stumble at the chasm’s edge
Vertigo of knowing and not knowing

Listening for breath song

Closing the couplet of eyes

Releasing the hand’s embrace

Our balance precarious
We find our footing in loving

Face sorrow with attention to the last of living
Making ceremony of wakeful waiting

Before we turn
As we must turn finally
And fall
All the improbable way to sleep


Rae Crossman

Published in EVENT