by Brittany Stuckey
I am not yet dead, but I am not breathing in oxygen nor exhaling carbon dioxide
The movement in my chest has ceased.
The pulse that once raced every time I danced to my favorite song
Or chased my dreams, could not be felt.
I am not yet dead, but I can go no longer see the petals of my Lily’s bloom.
The beautiful works of art that made the corners of my eyes fill are so far away from me.
The sight of my mom’s smile and her tears are a distant memory.
The vision I had for my life is now an origami crane, sitting on the edge of the waste basket.
I am not yet dead, but the sound of my grandmother’s laugh feels foreign to my ear drums.
There is no sound of the bee’s buzzing while my dog barks at the butterflies flying nearby.
Or the “goo” and “gah’s” of my new niece and nephew.
Or even the sound of my own voice.
I am not yet dead, but I can no longer feel the breeze on the back of my neck
Or the soft cushioned blanket I curl up with while he rubs my leg.
I can no longer grease my sister’s scalp while she tells me about the love she has lost for her old lover.
I cannot feel, love.
I am not yet dead, but I cannot taste my favorite butter pecan ice cream.
Or the bitter, grainy, sweet flavor of his kiss after the cigar smoke dissipates.
The flavor of swallowing my fears is the only stain left on my tongue.
It tastes like, invincibility.
I am not yet dead, but the smell of death flows through my nostrils, to my brain and my entire body.
But I see hope because I can hear people praying for me, and feel their authenticity in wanting me to pull through.
I can taste tomorrow because in surviving I feel my purpose being fulfilled.
Because, I am not yet dead.