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No Words
by Jodi Drinkwater

She said how, by then, he was beyond talking.
He made a low, gurgling growl, a moan.
And she would hold him, small as he was now,
and frail.
He would shiver there, naked,
and she would soothe him and tuck
the blankets in around him.
Soon he would sweat and reach
for pellets of ice.
She would feed him,
dab his brow.
It was just the two of them
alone in this dying,
late summer, and heat, no air.
The electricity turned off.
At night, she lit candles,
fed him, and sat silently.
They were beyond language now
when he beckoned and whimpered
to his long-dead father.
At the last, he tried to get the words out,
his lips parting, mouth gaping.
His body writhed as he left it.
He didn’t want to leave without her.
With no words,
he told her everything possible.