I'm Still Talking
By: Joana Dey



This poem first appeared in No Holds Barred #16 and is re-printed here with the permission of the publisher and author. No Holds Barred is still in print and available.



Morning, sunshine, feeling better today?
The guys all think I'm a twit coming here every day to see you.
They never did understand us though.
Doctors say you can't hear me, but I know you're listening.
You breathe Ray, while I talk, ok?
I'll keep talking and you keep breathing.

What do Doctors know anyway?
You've always been able to hear me,
even when I wasn't saying anything you still listened--
Sometimes too well.
Did you know they shaved your head?
All those soft, springy curls are gone.
You look a bit like a patchwork quilt--with fuzz.
Don't worry, it'll grow back. 'Sides, it feels...

Breathe Ray, in, out.
I've not finished talking.

Miss you. It's not the same without you guarding my back.
Murph's good but...
Doesn't quite do for me what you did. What you do!
Better not be, right?
Won't be long now and you'll be back where you belong:
in my bed, with me, loving the stuffing out of you!
I wonder what your stubbly head will feel like rubbing down....oh.
That was the nurse, taking your temperature.
I didn't stop talking Ray, just wasn't doing it where she could hear;
you did though, right?

Keep breathing Ray, I'm still talking.

Let me get a drink of water.
All this talking's wearing me down.
But you're worth it, Ray. You're my life.
Just wish you'd hurry, get out of this hole.
Doctors say.... Doctors don't know anything.
They're so worried about brain damage.
Don't know why-- gollies don't have brains to smash!
Not that you're looking much like
my favourite bionic golly right now.

Ray! Breathe!

Remember our first time?

You jumped so high when I kissed you
I thought you'd leave your skin behind!
For so long I'd wanted to take your mouth,
and suck that top lip...right-off-your-face.
You could...can be hopping mad one second
and so tender the next; I never knew--I never know--
what to expect from you.
Never boring with you around!

Breathe Ray. In. Out. I've still got lots to talk about.

Breathe sunshine. I need you.
Don't give up, you stubborn little git.
Argue-- you do that so well.
The Cow told me how you yelled at him when
I got myself sliced up in Blacktown.
Brave thing, weren't you?
If you can beat Cowley,
you can do anything.

Ray? Don't do this to me, it's selfish
and you're not selfish, not that much;
not with me, ever-- you wouldn't
leave me here,
alone... Ray?

Damn it, Ray,
I was still...talking.

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