Flumes Volume 2: Issue 1, Summer 2017 - Page 60

4 a.m., Geneva

by Wren Tuatha

It’s a brute and it’s abrupt.

Concrete step, cold in summer,

4 a.m., Geneva. Sterile gowns are

being unloaded beside me.

They’ve learned to leave

the grieving alone on this shift.

If I don’t take the next breath,

the moment without you

in it won’t have to come.

And I might go back upstairs, slide my

palm under your fingers like a plate, wait

for the quiver that comes, might come

if I don’t breathe.

Why isn’t everyone screaming their

heads off? Why don’t the floors

buckle and the walls bleed?

Simone, Simone. If I mantra your name

you’ll freeze with me. We’ll think of

something. I’ll, the doctors will think of something.

I’ve made it as far as the loading dock.

Simone, if you’re not going to breathe,

I’ll have to. The baby only knows

breathing and screaming.