Enter the room open
erasing the word death from the end of every sentence
won't make it go away
may even slither it out
baby elephant from incisor
it's more important to take deep breaths
be awake, imagine yourself as sponge
the word reckoning in your pores
and forget never.
Sometimes fighting is lying down and resting
especially when Live. Every. Moment.
becomes capitalized, gasped,
marked by countable grains of sand
in the hour glass.
The imperative includes
not doing anything but noticing the sun
move with hours across the room
watching awful movies on purpose in small hours
making small talk about tomorrows
swapping gossip, secrets, lies, dishing dirt
living every moment
includes the slow and lazy, do-nothing ticks of time
even frivolity matters
just as the eye to a peacock's feather
or the swishing sound taffeta makes on an evening gown.
We do not bring illnesses on ourselves
any more than we ask
to be born
or pick our families
the reality of this brings self-help books
down to where most of them belong
as lavatory reading.
Sit with the going
really sit with the going
by not thinking of anything in simile or metaphor
let the machines beep and wheeze and be the machines
respect every object for being exactly what it is
the drips, the plastic tubes, the furniture
including the biohazard symbol
and the stink of fluids.
Let the going be fully who
not "like" anyone else
this sitting not "like that time"
still those echoes for the return drive home
the small hours alone with insomnia
ball memory up in yarn
unspool it when you resent random objects
teacups, books, lamps, heirlooms
for still existing, improbably, without their owner.
When words fail
mark the room with your eyes
read aloud the letters, sing an old torch song
release the cries
but then embrace the silences
in arms, hands, the language of touch
noting how words
begin as root systems.