emergency ((unique chromosomes tightly wound, unwind slowly from dna)) rooms

Andrea Horowitz

audio wallpaper


ever present— 


            heart rate’s-slow


             beep   beep—     



             beep    beep    beep—-     



fear shrouds my mother—


mascara streaked

around her crow’s feet

makes her look defeated 

           like a knocked-out boxer


her eyelashes     sticky

weep onto lifeless floors


I brace—

             what comes next


wanting to

smear divine language 


I dare my fingers—

       defile these bricks


       this room


      these machines

               measure her life

               & rewrite mine


a shrill beep—

          my mother’s lungs 

          still breathe &


I see the streaks

of ___________


bleach sprinting

through blue plastic tubes

that say———


caution     keep away—

                 fire &  deafening silence


I look up at the clock’s

oversized face and hands


like a nursery school’s 


ceiling lights hide 

behind polystyrene tiles

terrified to shine




punctuates silence—


she is nothing more 

than twenty three chromosomes 

subdued under institutional sheets


stamped hospital corners 

hold her cold feet  

as if positioned 

for toe tags


like John Does in the morgue

two amino actors

stage final hours


my pen scripts

her every spark    seeping 


into the (faint) blue lines 

of my white notepaper

as if they were her veins 

& atrophied grey matter


Her body like icebergs

cracks into my flesh

Andrea (Andi) Horowitz, an emerging poet who is older than she should be, is a retired High School teacher. She graduated from the University of Florida, and lives in Fort Myers with her husband and their two cairn terriers, BeCa and Bleecker.

© Variant Literature Inc 2023