On the Brink of Life

The dead need no more space
than a mouth from its lipstick.
They skate on the shutters.
This slit of daylight
is their last look, which spies us
exchanging a kiss
in a lapse of their memory.
They’ve planed the wall thin
drilled their opening
across from the door.
Breath that stirs the curtains,
steam on the mirror,
their beyond-fate breath.
Watchful now, we wait.
We are
on the brink of things.
 
"Au bord de la vie," © Marie-Claire Bancquart. Originally published in Avec la mort, quarter d’orange entre les dents, Obsidiane, 2005. Translation © Christina N. Cook, 2014. All rights reserved.