Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Please Don't Let It Be True

Today, death started whispering to me. Soon, it said, soon I will be coming... and I started to weep, for it was not me death was coming for.

That would have been easy, there is little in my life I would care to take; and if death told me early enough, I would burn everything. And then I would lie down to be consumed.

Leave nothing.

Not even the shells, bones and silence.

But no, it was not me death was coming for. I listened carefully, I heard, but I didn't want to understand.

Please, I said, no, please, take me instead, nobody loves me, not really, it would be OK if you took me... I occupy space and maybe in a little box I would occupy less space, or even better, melt me down to essentials and toss me in the air... and I'd not take up any more space than the light in your eyes, the snowflake on your shoulder, the dust on this book.

It whispered. And I said, no, no, no... please take me instead.

You see, when I was little there was a sense of destiny. I was born for a reason. I was sure. I was here. I was present.

But somewhere along the way, I drifted off the path and landed up tangled in the underbrush. And I tore my clothes and scratched my face and got tired of struggling and sat down to rest awhile.

But then I watched life pass silently by, this ridiculous parade, this circus, this pageant, of which I was no longer a part. And slowly I disentangled myself. And slowly they forgot me. And I, them. (Your face, I seem to remember the lines, the shadows...but it resolves itself into emptiness... don't mind me, just for a minute there, I thought we'd met, but don't worry, I forget, I always forget)

There was my heart
A peeled orange
Dribbling juice
down my front.

Unsightly, you said.
Do something about it,
They said.
Orange stains
all over your cuffs.

So I stopped breathing,
Covered it in clingwrap,
and grew a skin,
tough as a scab.

It is possible to stop feeling.

It is.

And still, death whispered.

And down on my knees.

I begged. Please.

Please don't let it be true.

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