This is a poem about death

Not about a walkabout skeleton
in a black robe, with a threshing blade
or a plague or a sickness
or a rock-and-roll band

This is about the feeling
that washes over you
as you stand in a room
while another human being
struggles to keep blood pumping
through their veins
even though everyone knows
they should be gone by now

This is that stone in your gut
as you hang up the phone
from hearing the news: someone
whom you loved very dearly
had wrapped a strong rope
about their neck and throat
and tightened it somehow
until they were no longer breathing

Here, now, the dizziness that comes
when you remind yourself
that the phone number you were dialing
no longer connects

Here, the pain of knowing that
nothing you can do can
bring somebody back,
so it’s too late for some things
and all the apologies you owe
will have to go unsaid

This is a poem about death
and it is not romantic
because there is no romance in death

It is not beautiful,
there is no beauty in it either

it is dark and cold
and it is sad

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