by Michael Neal Morris
The straps at the top of the mask cut a little into his forehead. The top of his skull seemed to be burning, and for a silly moment he wondered if he had any hair left. Of course he did. The taste of the air blowing on him said something was on fire.
He fell asleep then, and dreamed his dead father had come over to help him work on the car.
When he woke, his wife, shaking his arm, was talking to him. He unclasped his CPAP mask, and tried to look at her though his headache made him wince.
“Your machine is out of water,” she told him. “Why is the humidifier set so high?”
“I don’t know,” he said. And now free of the device, he didn’t much care.
He said thank you and touched her hand. It was cool, comfortable. He pulled her close for a kiss. She smelled like morning.
Michael Neal Morris teaches English at Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas. His poems and stories have been published in both traditional print journals and online magazines. He has worked as a secretary, technical writer, janitor, and tutor. He lives near Dallas, Texas, with his wife, children, two dogs, and a cat. His blog is Monk Notes.
Michael Neal Morris