May 1, 2012

unless death

Unless death has tiptoed or
crash landed or
slipped or
body slammed its way
into your life

Unless death has
touched you, brushed
against you, gently
rested its cold hand on you while
it steadied itself
reaching for someone else

Unless death has
claimed someone you loved
more than anything else, more
than sun, more than air
more than all that is good

Unless death has
on the back of your neck while you tried
to will yourself to stop breathing because
you were holding someone
who was not breathing anymore, and who
you knew
would never breathe again

Unless you are
familiar with death
you might think it
in poor taste
to mention

Unless you have encountered it, face
to face, you might think it
a morbid thing
to dwell on and
you might not understand
what I mean when I say:

I wish we were closer friends, death
and I; Me and Death.


I wrote this poem a couple of weeks ago, and I started to write an essay based on it to submit to Glow, but ran out of time and ended up missing the deadline. Ah, well. Maybe next time. The essay is still not done, but I wanted to post the poem here, at least.

Do these thoughts resonate with anyone else?


  1. Beautiful. True.

    "I wish we were closer friends, death
    and I; Me and Death."

    Yes, resonate.

    And - no pressure - but Still Life A. mentioned your writing reminds her of a certain After Iris. She would be interested in a submission from you any time, deadlines aside.

    If you feel like it, when you feel like it.

    What do you think?

    xo CiM

  2. vera kate, this is beautiful. And yes, true.

    Please do submit it to Angie.

    It is an interesting tension. I did not want to see my daughter die. Often I can't believe that I watched her die. But it made me want to understand Death more. It made me want to understand my own death more. Because death took the one I loved so much that I thought I could prevent him/her/it stealing her away just by puffing myself up around her and hissing, 'No not this one.'

    But now I am more fatalistic, I would just like to be friends. Or at least on nodding terms.