In Other Lives

There must have been one where I died falling down a staircase. A heavy piece of furniture was involved; someone wanted it moved. I don’t remember if I was climbing up or down, but I know which way I ended up going.

Another life was snuffed by a magnificent explosion. In a chlorinated dressing-room, I sheared a pair of denim jeans onto my chafing legs, and suddenly I was a smoking mushroom, shattered bits of fabric scattered widely round.

In one of my other lives, I believe, I died by overkill of eyes. A swarm of yellow-pooling eyes like band-aids to my peach-skin, perhaps there were faces attached from afar, loading the pupils with charcoal rockets. Maybe it was a public speaking class. I think death constituted an automatic F. That would have killed me again, if I hadn’t been

In another life already. That end was unsightly, a slow mosaic that choked my skin and inflated tuberous tumors all around my body until it laid in bed, taking pills, and waiting. It is just as likely the mysterious pills that did me in. They used my body’s pieces for scientific inquiry.

Finally, I am certain, there was a life – perhaps I was a child, or a toothless old creature with no name – wandering the paths and not leaving footprints. That life asphyxiated gradually in the mind that had lost its way, and that no one bothered to go out and find. That life, I died alone because alone was what killed me. Why else would solitude so please my comfortable terror to this day? Why else would outsiders’ eyes lower when my black pupils are loaded only with urchin spines, and theirs with modern bullets?


This time around I think it’s safe to say I died – or will – for the so-called love of a beautiful blood-enchanter who takes no notice of me. A pale shadow cuts my thoughts which fall upon my gray veins; backlit by heaven-white a booted figure presses me down, heavy fingers weave all the blood-milk of my honey-kindness into a winter shawl. When you leave, will you take my fears for free?


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