You Already Know

It turns out that death doesn’t stop—it lingers,
and slowly suffocates with the tips of its fingers.
It’s not like a blow, or a thud, or a shout,
but a darkness in the chest that shoves the light out.
It’s sudden, sure, but that suddenness grows
and it takes a while until your brain really knows
that the world, she is dying, and saying goodbyes,
and that death’s long fingers are slowly stopping her sighs.
Death doesn’t come and then leave—it walks,
like a friend, beside you, and beside you it talks
of the days you have lived, and the days you have died,
the nights that you screamed, the mornings you cried.
It’s always been there, at the small of your back,
pressing down like the weight of the things that you lack,
and it shuffles and stoops, and it speaks with a lisp,
and it’s coy and it’s cool, and it’s clean and it’s crisp.
Death isn’t the end—more of a becoming—
it’s the words to the tune you’ve been tunelessly humming.
It isn’t a friend, but it isn’t a foe—
but why say this, my friend? You already know.

 Kaitlyn Medina                  [6 Aug 2012]

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