Sandra Benedetto: The Vigil

She sat next to his bed

and held his hand

and listened to his breathing.

She thought of something he’d once said,

“Beauty is in the almost.”

The best this world has to offer

is a yearning for the next unknowable thing.

Beauty is in the takeoff,

the lean in,

the wind-up,

the loosening of the cork,

the turning of the key,

the blueprints,

the hickory smoke,

the expanding womb,

the knock,

the ring,

the wakeful night.

It’s fleeting

because attainment is the death knell of a dream.

You must wallow in the wanting.

She’d understood then.

Now she sat here,

holding his hand,

listening to his breathing,

and thinking about how

his next unknowable thing

would be the last.


    1. That’s kind of you to say. Now that I’ve gotten around to reading some of your essays I feel particularly flattered.

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