The Eyes of Death

For my father.

So that you wouldn’t die so undignified,
I wanted to force a black rose
        down your throat, so
that the thorns
            would pierce your larynx
        & silence
the animal noises;

a language
capable of expressing
        only pain & existence,
            both
belonging to you alone.

Your cells were in rebellion:

first, they conquered your lungs,
before taking your liver
        & then,
            traversing your spine,
they laid siege to your brain:

dead pixels in your irises,
        made me think
            of machinery,
but
       technology
            doesn’t feel pain…

Hours dragged past like sandpaper against glass.

I held your hand, sat by the bedside as
        you died,
until suddenly, what remained of you
        sat upright
& pulled me close enough to hear
            your last words…

& that’s when I saw it, in the last moment
            of your lucidity:

    the eyes of death
        staring back at me.

*The Eyes of Death – Off With Their Heads

Die, & be forgotten…

“This place is a dream.
Only a sleeper considers it real.”
– Rumi

Soon enough every cell in us
will cease to repeat the pattern,
        & we will die

& be forgotten.

So focus on each breath as
our chests repeat the movement
        of our heartbeat;

in & out,
        up & down,
            until we’ve found

the place where presence elides into absence &
from something to nothing,
we return again
        to where all things
            begin…

The future is composed of consequence
not yet made manifest
& the past
        is the mess
            it left behind.

Diaphanous & thin,
the boundary between
    mind & brain; something &
        nothing;
            life &

                death.