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a poem about being afraid to die

i'm so afraid of being alone

with myself, with my thoughts

with the pulsingly active wound

that is the knowledge

that i will eventually die

that a bed to myself

is enough to shred a rake

across a rib cage

all that empty space

- it fits two, it holds one -

all it says to me

is that one day it will hold none

I cling to dying lovers in the vain hope that they will not die

or at least the chance

that this thing i know about myself

they may not know yet about them

and maybe their ignorance

avoids tipping off the scythe-wielding infinite

already on its way to me


i count on their warm bodies

as bulwarks against the sting

if i can kiss them

caress them

hold tight to their skin

that's three whole activities

to keep busy in the late-night hush

their breathing

their subtle repositions

more than enough of a show to binge

to keep the seconds sluicing by

as the terrible knowing that chases me


from myself

remains mercifully

if momentarily

at bay

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