Soon you will be gone.
Not an airport good-bye,
you off to a European concert,
sheet music in your satchel,
university sticker worn
beyond recognition.
Not an overnight
to a piano master class,
not even a short trip
to the grocery.
I place my hand
under your nose,
gathering your breath.
You can no longer speak,
can barely swallow.
I gently press two fingers
on your neck, relieved
to find a pulse. Lightly
touch your arm, kiss
your blistering lips.
I hold your every moment
in memory’s palm.
Autumn is beginning.
Your favorite mohair
sweater will rest
on the shelf this winter.