I have hardly been intimate with death.
I’ve only begun to be acquainted with its shadow,
As it rears itself in shadow form to remind the living that he is walking with us and dancing to the same tune.
Indifferently tapping his feet against ours like sand against sand in an hourglass.
I did find death waiting for me one day,
Nesting in my mattress, treading over my sheets and shackling himself to my dreams.
I swallowed to untie my tongue and draw my sword to break the muzzle of anger clenched within my jaw, but as I opened the door to my mouth, I found the home of my voice vacant.
I did find my voice, though, lying on my bed with death.
I saw my voice cozy with death and sharing my pillow.
Pressing against my neck, in search of a pulse,
I could only feel the beat of a silent drum –Just words waiting for emancipation protesting from their prison.
My fingers, still pressed against my veins in solidarity, were holding onto to words regressing into mere thoughts rolling down my tongue like a barrage of tsunamis marching down my throat spreading silence throughout my body like cancer. Silence, belligerent like a drunk, stumbling wherever my heart will break the fall. Cushioning silence from the impact of the coarse pavement of my esophagus, which now resembles a field run down from the weight of words running along its pathway.
I could see, from my doorframe, my voice
Gripped by the shadow of death and there I stood, mute
Like a flame burning against a candle with no wick
Watching the liberation of speech burn and give rise to silence.
A silence lodged in my throat.
Stretching voice thin, drying voice’s extremities with grief.
Silence oxidizing my bones and rusting my rib cage.
Taking root in my diaphragm.
Watching my voice copulate with death.
My vocal chords replaced with barbwire,
I knew, then, what death felt like:
To have it consume the best of life.
Bonding itself to my voice.
Aborting words that will never rest upon ears,
That will never impregnate someone with thought.
I came to know death – reassembling himself in fear of speech:
Making words quiver into the pits of my stomach
Going where all courage goes to die.
To be turned into butterflies with timid wings.
I knew what death felt like:
A tree without roots,
Eyes without pupils
The pen with ink
Death is the writer without voice.