Liz O'Donoghue

Suspended Animation

There may as well
be a galaxy between us
you on some remote star
and me adrift.
contemplating a screen
through swirls of cosmic dust
until my eyes water.
I follow the beam between moons
nausea’s got my appetite
makes me wane.
Splendid visions
of your mountainous landscape
flash intermittently
until I am shocked
out of senselessness
by the sharpening cold …
this interminable space
is cold, silent and cold
the dogs and bears are silent
silence between the sheets
silence between my lips
silence in vast swathes
of emptiness
vast interminable silence.
Where are you?
Skysign with the tail of a comet.
Rearrange the stars as an arrow.
Bounce a signal off Saturn.
Time floats like a mist
and I’m suspended within …
its eerie faint groan
excising another hour from our lives
days and nights
drag each other from their beds
fighting for the last shred of light.
The screen is dead
this craft won’t spark
the outer casing is dented
the log has run out of days.
The space between us
is only physical
my hand
even now
is in yours.
Silence is replaced
with the quietness
of skin on skin.

Liz O’Donoghue
“Suspended Animation” is from Train To Gorey (Arlen House, 2009).