37. Death Dialogs, II

Hers is the death I fear most, her disappearance means I’m gone.

As long as she’s here I’m here. And everyone else, too, you know,

the rest of us who love you. Have your forgotten us? I thought

there were two of us here–uh, dialog? No, we’re a multitude.

Everyone is. Caroline’s just a piece of it, don’t make her the whole,

the perfection of being, the exemplum of human love. Last night

she showered with you, leaning her head against your chest

in the way you love, and then put you to bed, toxins buzzing

in your veins, and lay down beside you in the silence, the half-light,

and you slept for the first time in weeks. She consumes you as your death

loves you, unconditionally, maddeningly. She is teeth in your ass

just as your death is a pain in the ass or your kidney or whatever

organ currently is in rebellion. She will leave you as your life, your body

will leave you, and that’s all you know. There is no separation between

now and then, between being here and being gone, between this life

and that death. You make her into something she’s not–your death,

your deliverance, your salvation? Maybe just a mirror, nothing more,

the mirror you polish and polish until nothing is left reflected in it.

Excuse us. Hello? You can’t just fade away like that.

Who locked us out of your account? Who locked us out

of your miserable life? The beach is empty. There are footprints,

sandals made from the rubber tread of tires–remember

how the revolutionaries wore them forty years ago–

but the lead to the edge of the lake. There are no other prints.

How sad that you chose to leave without us, we who cared

so deeply and so vocally about your future.

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