Dying is not
as romantic as I once thought.
I think you always knew this.
It is winter now, and death’s icy hold
has made my town silent. Each day
my hair turns a lighter shade of ash.
I have concluded that life should not be
linear — that I should struggle down the stairs,
legs shaking, to tumble into young summer days
and the front seat of your car. I would rest
bare feet on the dashboard and believe troubles
to be no more complex than a flat can of sprite
or a mix-tape that always gets stuck on
“Yellow Submarine.” Dear friend,
are you dead yet? I remember you in youth —
the line of your jaw, that toothy smile, the way
you swore to me that life didn’t rhyme, and I
promised I would make sonnets out of the way
you wore your hat, a ghazal out of the way
you walked away, hat askew. And if you are dead,
are you still beautiful? Time has turned my skin
to paper, but you would waste away in elegance;
your bones would glisten, and you’d laugh at me
pulling art out of your absence, a giggle rattling
through your empty chest: proof of sweetness yet.
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