by Kathleen Szoke
\’ap-ne-∂\ n. – a transient cessation of respiration
She lies motionless, inches from his side
waits for him to breathe
unsure which is worse
the guttural roar of his snoring
or the sweet torturous silence when it stops
she counts her own breaths
– one – two – three – four
in the gaps between his
waits for the sudden
the inhalation that signals
that all is well once more
the roaring begins
and she waits for his breathing to stop.
Apnea was first published in Hammered Out, Issue #5, February 2005.