on contemplating your death, a poem

illustration on contemplating your death illustration on contemplating your death brain image



(originally published in the Panhandler Magazine)


This is not heroism, this slow

nod to absolutes, numb acquiescence

to facts.  I perform the worst


sort of cowardice: cutting the lines

free before it’s over. I can feel

the steps away from you, the slow


casting off from love, the mournful

horns, departing from this foggy

land of illness.  When you didn’t


know me, when your hands danced

above the forgotten teacup, squeezing

a lemon primly into thin air,


you had a kind of ruddy stubbornness

I was shocked to see.  After that,

your pale and knowing return was


anticlimax.  You had gone another

way, in your blue cap, your skin hot,

glossy as if with fever, the surface


papery-soft but no longer familiar.

I hoped you were angry once more,

even as you slept.  I expected to


cry more, to feel something else,

to be more like you.  Nothing here

is how I imagined it, not this slow


nod to absolutes, not this languid

overflow of salt water — aching

bones, a past no longer claimed.



Filed under poetry

5 responses to “on contemplating your death, a poem

  1. the stroke of your hand works wonders.thanks for following my blog

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. I found this very moving.

    Liked by 1 person

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