“It was Slow” by Kaileen Campbell

I sat and held
             the world’s coldest hand.
One whose skin
had been taken by ice.

The palm of a dried soul
             that rested on my fingers.
With itching veins,
             that wanted to rise.
Away like many other nights
             he has had as his own.

And I held this hand
             with the hand that aged into mine.
Of a man whose family
             pretended he was still alive.
While his head dripped
             in pain.
And his mouth was filled
             with cotton.
As if he had words
             left to say.

The skin of the man
             who raised my Mother.
And nursed himself
             in a lifetime of booze.
Who hung onto lungs
             he filled with dusty air.
In that body, that kept its own mind
             to its self.

A man in a sweetened
             and crinkled casing.
With eyes that could only
             look into their own.

I held his hand
             and told him words he would never know.

Kaileen Campbell was born and raised in the suburbs of New Jersey were she works as a welder. She studied creative writing while attending the Maryland Institute College of Art. An interesting fact about Kaileen is that she used to raise Seeing Eye dogs in her youth. Her work has been featured in Better Then Starbucks.

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