Kivorkian may not me right,

but he is not entirely wrong

In life we dread the thought of death

could it be that in death

we dread the thought of life?

 

Did you know there is a place, in Africa,

where the elephants go.

When they know, feel, sense

it’s time to die.

They complete this act of nature

because it’s buried deep

inside their bones.

 

we have places ourselves,

but whether or not

we know, feel or sense

we, are not allowed

 

if tired or in pain, they keep us going

if the breathing stops, they breathe for us

if the heart stops, it pumps, forcing you

to lay in wait, sunk to the depths of sheets

 

  1. see you under care.

So secure,

death has trouble penetrating,

delayed by machines.

He sneaks by once and a while

always late collecting clients

for their final appointments.

 

Though the spirit is willing

devices do not allow

weakened bodies to release

to carry on to the next stage

their curtain call awaits

just one breath

a heart beating tremor lost,

but we cannot.

 

  1. see U. cannot take the long walk

up to the mountain top

where the elephants venture.

The empty carriage awaits

at the crossroads,

for passengers

missing connections.

Tenants held captive on one side

of a thin vein between death and life.

 

  1. C. you holding us trapped.

A fragile shell of self-realization

dignity removed from an empty house

a favorite chair left unoccupied.

 

Locked in bones wrapped in leather

tissue unmoved by muscles

too frail to lift tendons too weak to hold.

The definition of a living skeleton

Air pushing past beneath sunken lips

around teeth-long fallen away.

 

Robotic beds bend, lift and turn

to lift the human rotisserie of flesh

that screams for release

beeps, whistles and flashes of light

tease the end is nigh, and spread

a rumored account of heart beats

manufactured

one, by one, by, one.

 

Every orifice filled with tubes

give air, take air, fluid

excrement

and nourishment

all regurgitated

for pain is no longer death.

Pain is life.

 

I step from the dark I. C. U.

holding life.

A plug in my pocket for rest

and I no longer fear

the peaceful long dirt nap

I fear life, ever-lingering.

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