The last

250px-Scared_Child_at_NighttimeNothing is always a hard and fast rule or outcome

we cannot predict as well as we might think

divining over two sticks to find the source

I know this as I know my own heartbeat

for myself and many others

not having children makes you hold onto yourself too much

you value the debris and memories and fixtures of your past

with emotional microscope, unable to grow beyond reflection

as if they were your child’s blanket, your child’s first tooth

you look at self portraits

feeling the emotion a little less of love approximating love

self-love isn’t always narcissism

it reduces however like a sauce

until there is less than more

while loving another expands

until it lifts us off our feet and sends us into the air

that kind of love frees us from preoccupation

obsessing and writing ourselves over and over

this is my life, this is my dog, this is how I am, look at me!

your gaze shifts to another, you learn how little you matter

how to open yourself up, love someone else without end

suddenly you are not important and unconditional is

 

it is funny to imagine my mother knowing this more than I

it is sad to think she was a mother and we do not have that in common

she has walked where I will never walk

and though it was hard for her to accept

she knows more from having been than I ever will

I who still hold onto, my own memories of me

the only child who wasn’t meant to thrive

living up to her proportion

not obsession or self-love but a lack of other

diminishment in legacy

there will be no follow-up

no future after I am dust

the line will simply close

like it was cauterised and sealed, never having existed

 

at times I feel I owe those in the past

something more than quiet death

or history forgotten and emptied

dressing corpses with semblance

but I have nothing more to offer

no search for fame or history

I am simply myself

who at the close of day will inherit the sum

all who came before, all who will not carry on

an envelope licked and sealed

sent away to the dead letter depot

 

I look at my hands they are empty and long

I think they look wistful as the feeling inside of me does

if I could stop considering myself

hording small memories in tight boxes

holding on because if I let go

there is just an empty glass

neither half full nor half emptied

gone is the liquid of the future

I am it … this is all

now

and it feels disquieting

wrong at times

to be the last of my kind

I think of how it will only grow stronger

as they die and I remain

watching memories like old films damaged by time

 

this may seem bleak but if you stand solitary

watching the entire world play out their multiplication

like a concert with different scenes and costumes

you feel yourself evaporating knowing there is nothing more

no heaven for the empty. no hell for the sinner

and purgatory

is here on earth surely

I suppose that’s why I do what I can

now

sometimes that is not possible because

my heart is wrapped in butchers paper and thick with sorrow

a doom perhaps, just a shadow of future

when I am strong enough I stir and reach

when I am weak I stay so still air is louder than me

at times I do not exist though I live

I am just a poor transfer

a smudge of a fingerprint left on glass in an empty house

vanquished of plan

 

what will I do when they depart?

how will I cope being the last?

it was my intention to gather other lives around me

a blanket of DNA my home-grown spun family

nature didn’t permit such outcome, possibly

with our inheritance this was less cruel

than leaving children to grow into

miniature versions of disease’s burden

the curse and the lightning of uncertainty

mental illness heating mercury

like fevered flag

 

some would say, abuse ends

when there are no more left to collect

it is a relief to think of sleeping undisturbed

unaware of beginning and end

but at night I admit

sometimes that terrible fear curls around my neck

and I remember being a child

alone in the dark

knowing one day

it will be

permanent

as I am

the last

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75 thoughts on “The last

  1. My heart feels the barren and the deepest of sadness that I feel.
    Sis, If I lived there or close by…I’d take care of you.

    You felt so strongly in this poem, I myself felt what your feeling and that connection brings us together.

    Much respects to you sis. Love this very much.

  2. P.S So excited for our collaboration tomorrow morning. 🙂

    Your challenge will make my emotions feel challenged. 🙂

    Don’t forget to write me an email tomorrow, or text me. or I’ll text you and write you an email. You start first.

  3. I knew there was a slim chance of ever having a child when I was 16 years old. You don’t give it much thought when you’re a teenager, but when I married, it felt devastating. It feels as if a loss has taken place somehow.

    Your poem was dear to my heart with brilliant writing. I will miss your motivational and empathetic comments on my articles, as well as, reading your incredible poetry. I will sorely miss YOU, Please keep in touch and hoping whatever comes next for you is a joyful adventure. Hugs xo

  4. Candice, this is so heartfelt and deeply moving. You are waking to an existential crisis, and like any good crisis, it hurts like hell (or maybe you’re uncomfortably numb) but it will pass. Nobody can tell you what meaning to make of your life, and in the end we all go into that good night alone, but your voice is so important. There’s just no way you’ve said everything you could ever meaningfully say. I don’t believe that for one second. Take time off, for sure. I don’t know how you maintain the volume you do to begin with! But you are too sensitive, too smart and thoughtful, and just too much an artist to simply walk away. I wish I could come over there and (metaphorically) slap you and give you a (literal) big hug. Get some help for your mental health, that’s the most important thing right now. Ugh. I’m giving advice. Sorry. I’m just worried because you sound like you’re staring into the abyss, and I’ve been there. I’ll miss you when you take a break, but please know that you are important in this big old world.

  5. Hello my friend
    We’ve just met, I felt like we were sisters reunited able to finish the others sentences. I haven’t had time to know you better and your personal, one on one writing style. I was surprised to see how much you have written. You’re about to embark on a new journey, I wish you the best, have no question you’ll float to the top. Glad I have the memories of our few conversations.
    Be well.
    M

  6. This utterly took my breath away. I have recently found out I may not be able to carry and you expressed things here I wouldn’t know how to. Thank you.

  7. Dear Candice, I can only echo sentiments expressed above and say how beautifully vulnerable and real this is… And from your responses above, I see you are stepping away. Pardon my lateness visiting here. I have also felt more quiet these last couple weeks and needed space from words and people, so I definitely understand the pull for time away, whether that’s permanent for you or not. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words! ❤ Em

  8. this a hearty body of work/ Hearty as in strong, hearty as in filling, hearty as in emphatic, full of heart, and honest reflection. I understand most of it, nod & relate to most. like they say at the end of the poker game, “Thanx for sharing” g

  9. What Can I say Candice. You already know I love everything You do. I guess WordPress decided to not work cause it says I am following you but did not show any updates to your web side. Stay amazing, I will read all your posts tonight, I need my Candice fix. Stay amazing

  10. Reblogged this on misterkaki and commented:
    this is my life, this is my dog, this is how I am, look at me!

    your gaze shifts to another, you learn how little you matter

    how to open yourself up, love someone else without end

    suddenly you are not important and unconditional is

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