Place your tender finger on the artery,
feel the immortal pulse. It’s all that we have left
to make it known that we are still alive.
Here we lie, here in the gutter, sprawled
cross-legged, arms outstretched. Sprawled and waiting
for the diminishment of this tolerant blood.
Hair quivers on the back of a neck, trembling at the
touch, trembling as the finger traces the length of a vein.
Tracing the entirety, searching for a way back
to the beating heart. Following the line of blood,
pale shadow of blue, from the stalwart jawbone
to the ceaseless throbbing of a derelict heart.
Paul Ilechko was born in England but has lived much of his life in the USA. He currently lives in Lambertville, NJ with his girlfriend and a cat. Paul has had poetry published and/or accepted recently by Third Wednesday, Sick Lit Magazine, Gloom Cupboard, Muddy River Review and Slag Review, among others.