It is only in a still moment
just before waking
that time slips sideways
and life, stripped
to its ash-tinted base,
drifts in hues of memory.
My palm brushes the sheet,
waves of heat drawing my hand
toward skin
in broad strokes
that shape a landscape
whose form is recalled
only in relief.
The rising sun slides in
bringing me sharply to
waking awareness
of life as caricature:
this lightly sketched
self-portrait that holds
more artifice than art
in your absence.
I reach back for that
endless moment
as your fading
voice murmurs
let me rest