Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Easy Does It

All death’s anniversaries
Are set among the living
Who do the dying for them—

The art’s not to try to be
Wise, immune, or virtuous—
Not when virtuosity

Repeatedly proves useless.
The art, if there is an art,
Would be to decelerate

The destruction, or at least,
To not accelerate it,
To slow the rate of decay.

You can’t save yourself. You can’t
Save yourselves. Death itself saves
More than anything else does,

But until then, you will be
Stuck with doing the dying
With all the others dying

And trying to save themselves—
And you, if they’re kind, as you,
If you’re kind, try to save them.

Maybe just slow down a bit.
It could extend suffering,
But it could also ease it.

Who can’t love a therapist
Who eases you back into
Movement among the living,

A little away from death,
Even embracing dying,
Whispering to you, Easy,

Easy does it, as you grope
For a handhold in the wreck
Of all this to take deep breaths?

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