La Petite Morte

You tell us nothing scares you more than death.

You lie awake at night, after ending your prayers

And stare

At the meaningless body,

As some bodies are rendered no more than a ceiling to contemplate

As you tremble. As you pulsate with a terrible honesty.

That we must be known before we are loved.

That no one is a mystery, that everyone has history

Chiseled into them, and you cannot escape that fear.

That unknowable thing, that nothingness that hides just under our fingernails,

La petite morte, like a river from your stomach,

And you are finished, and everything feels wrong

As you clean up the mess you’ve made.

The morning after death,

You stay in bed until 10:30.

The sun peers at you from a high prison window

And exposes your scars for the whole damn city to see

And you are known. But you are not loved.

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