Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I cannot stand the sight of their deaths.

Nights, interrupted with sweat and a chest of pain,
a towel down to soak it all up; then
sleeping again, but not on yellow-ringed sheets but unaware,
on bathroom tile and a time-flattened rug-
each morning realizing a phantom bender,
devoid of a single drink from the night before.

They are all older in the great scheme but younger in my mind;
they are forefathers, mothers, and siblings.

I hope to lose all of my warmth before then
for my veins could not stand the chill
my mind not take the jolt
and my head would lose the world in a dizzying instant.

Their deaths are ahead of me, always,
my life is looming over them and
I curse each time, at the youth wasted on self;
the same self so occupied with the right words
and the selfish pursuit of grey temples.

They will always be in heroic scale from
where I choose to stand,


as I stare upward and watch them flourish-
their lives rich, and their hard work realized-
I conceptualize my own mortality
and am unwillingly reminded of theirs.

Then, all at once, I jerk awake once more-
the rug impressed on my cheek,
and the lines of tile, marked red on my side.

I remain still, and listen
as a clear pool of shame
escaping my coward's brow.

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