by Deborah Oster Pannell

Who can argue with a headache?
It's pointless.
Try not to let it draw you in
past the safe limits of your own senses, 
towards a split psyche, a fragmented heart

Tunnels of memory,
the scent of pine,
crunching gravel beneath my feet,
the sound of approaching death,
My skin will peel away like thin paper
translucent, crumbling

I remember his gait
stiff, then unsteady,
then finally, weakened beyond repair.
He wanted to walk home,
offered his best imitation of someone
who believed, and then gave into the final
puke of life,
carried away on silent goodbyes.