One Word Left in the Fog

wine glass

Standing by the window,

her face pressed into

the primitive shapes that

the night tattooed in frost.

Her breath against the glass obscures the field,

like the emptiness before the first thought revealed

with a finger, one solitary word left in the fog,


It is a labor to remember

the last letter

left in an empty box.

The faceless stranger,

her only visitor,

adds to the stack of morning papers

strewn in the hallway, a kind of intermediary

to the threshold she would no longer go beyond.

With a sigh she picks one up.

“This world is no longer mine but I’ll go along.”

The illusion becomes entertainment.

The passage of time, amplified at the end of life.

Like the ancient tree that loosens its leaves,

shaking free of the debris that years have left behind.

Independent? For nothing grew in your shadow.

A defining tenet, now stretched with solitude

and the absence of birds who have yet to return.

There’s an eerie quiet to the canopy these days,

like the aftermath of a storm.

The port is empty, all the boats are pulled in.

There’s barely a soul to witness

the moon stranded in pools of rainwater,

filling empty flower pots.

She could almost smell the wet soil

beneath the disheveled rosebush.

There’s a pale fingernail of light

that clutches the edges of dark liquid.

Seeking a glimmer at the bottom of the glass,

she begins to lose her grip the deeper she goes in.

Dark thoughts swallow down,

dim light on lips,  dawn’s another sip.

The will, like a lifeline,

when you’re drowning one day at a time.

Another slip into the refuge of dreams,

classical music, stained windows and high ceilings.

The angels and their voices singing Ave Maria

by morning have become the chortle of crows,

their mocking accompanies

the graveyard fingers of dead trees

scraping at the screens in the wind.


When movement is like a broken machine,

thoughts become mechanical

in the pill swallowing routine bouts of hypochondria.

Looking in the mirror, has her hair grown whiter?

No longer


she cannot go anywhere.

Is Shangri La the solace of distraction?

The statuary silence of friends in picture albums?

The light of a visage upon opening each page

becomes a surrogate visit

within the yellowing of age.

Where mouths do not speak nor expressions change.

Without new memories,

these effigies will pass

one by one

into the darkest corners of the basement,

through a door seldom used and slightly ajar.

She will not go down there anymore

for fear of falling in the dark,

what does she have left to hold onto?

She remains rooted to the kitchen table,

nodding off again.

Her face pressed up close to the empty glass.

Upon waking, she’ll view the room through this prism.

Everything still spinning, the ceiling circular,

closing in to the claustrophobic sensation of being trapped.

She sees her reflection, light is refracted but nothing is raised.

She can only bury her face

and stare plainly at her own mortality.

Through this glass darkly,

full of spirit but no less lonely,

the days lose their bearings in the fog

the ticking wall clock,

the liquid corrosion of

a dripping faucet

amplify the sensation

of time slipping away.










2 thoughts on “One Word Left in the Fog

  1. Rob says:

    Again, well done. Moving piece, catches the surrealism of grief.

  2. domtakis says:

    Thank you Rob! That’s a good way of putting it, it is grief. The character in isolation sees the world that she once knew slipping away, it is akin to loss.

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