The best people to talk to about death are people in a Lenard Cohen song. Yesterday a poet said he’d gotten close to God lately. Who can blame him? On my way home today I realized I love my students more than I love my poems. My students are more fun because they don’t know I’m dying. My poems all know, even when I try to hide it from them. Thus: thus. Thus: thus. Yesterday my friend and I talked about being on balconies and bridges and feeling as if we will be thrown off or we will jump off by accident or something will cause us to leap. An odd sensation. Turns out I only have it when I’m suicidal, but my friend has it all the time. Meanwhile, I know someone right now who is threatening to shoot himself. I’m tired of guns. Death should be a peaceful thing, if possible. I talked to my doctor in Aurora about assisted suicide and she said it’s important to have your wits about you when you make your plan, gather your loved ones, take the medicine that will kill you. That way, when your last poem eases out of you and flies off into the world, you’ll be ready.
104 | PHOEBE 48.1
Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art selected for phoebe's Winter 2019 issue.