so half our life is vague and stormy make-believe. –Glenway Wescott
Which would make the other half
Fear of death, the snaky punishment of trying
to mask our desires?
That aversion named pleasure?
So much for lasting all night, inviting in
the spirit of the other.
What’s unkillable in us is perhaps
what’s distasteful in any neighbor.
Shortness of breath. The inability to reflect
mid conversation. Restless dis-
ease. Anxious attachments. Poor drink.
When I stop to look around it’s just a wet breeze.
Snow diminishing to sleet
to whatever slurry’s left of anything.
I want to stand up when I’m sitting. Sleep
when I’m running. Fall when I’m flat
on the ground. Through the rug to where?
Not death, of course.
Some other vacancy. Some other set of
Joshua Marie Wilkinson wrote a book called Meadow Slasher (Black Ocean 2017). He lives in Seattle.