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Caleb Long

The Disease took you, but not from me.  

It left your imprint still seeped into the mattress.  

Your silhouette still here without its head,  


crouching in the corner by my nightstand. 

Silence filled hospice—drowning your wails for help—submerging madness, 

the Disease took root, making you the absentee.  


I remember visiting that lifeless room, holding on to paper thin hands, 

those same cold and purple fists that cast stars on my sight—a redress. 

Your shadow still here, bludgeoning with conviction—without God 


Who crawled His way into you and came out as bile, into the pan 

mixed with kitchen songs—those moments unmanned with unwelcome guests. 

The Disease sprouted through your mouth, making you the devotee. 


Your false Messiah, the dull holy light, you didn’t know you were already damned 

to your death bed—etherized, did you think you were blessed? 

Your silhouette saw me laughing when I carried the coffin, 


funny how we tried so hard to reach you in no man’s land. 

Our melting arms burrowing into hell to grasp something already possessed. 

The Disease stole your soul—nothing left for me, or God. 

Your Blast Shadow now pressed onto every sidewalk—a residue I step over. 

Spring 2023

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