Practice Dissolution

You might be afraid.
Feel your body sink and still
Into bed and yellow light.
Your arms too heavy.
Toilet too far away.
The earth of your body
Dissolves into water. You kick
The bedside toilet, swing arms at those who
Can still walk, but you are really kicking
At death. Your mother unfolds

A large absorbent pad beneath you. No one
Says diaper because they love you and your pride.
Water begins its hiss into fire, trickling from you,
Evaporating from open lips and halflit eyes.
Mother begs you, please sip. You do
Because you love her, though you have given up
The comfort of water now, your eyes dull ice.
No one sees the blue light of your water shine but you.
Sister touches your feet, sees liquid
Pool in red constellations beneath skin,
Sinking toward your body’s lowest sky.

Heat seeps past limbs, cool slides in
Like night. Mother’s painbright eyes, sisters’
Whispers begin: it is happening just as the blue book says.
You listen to all this. Your liver a bonfire
For months is finally a coal bed, glowing,
Dimming, sending out sparks, fireflies
Only you can see as breath no longer feeds its flame.

Thin wind rakes your lungs’ groping fingers, plays
The strings of your throat, your last voice.
Silence fills where breath breaks, relaxed lungs
Collapse into green light brightening as the last
Gust huffs from your mouth, eyes shoot

Open to take in the blast of light, clear white.
While your mother, sisters, husband wail
Wordlessly clutching dead hands, pressing heads
Upon your body, stroking your still warm velvet crown,
Turn from them. Countless people, life’s rich personifications
Gather in the widening now and ask your true name.
Awareness opens spherically upon itself. You answer
Without words—what you are—and begin.

2011

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