Existential Risks in a World of Immortals

No lines rewriting the story
of your face is a risk I wouldn’t take.

How would your story change if your body didn’t?

I wouldn’t know the soft way you smile
in the days before you die.

Hero, if there were no risk of death,
would the prize mean as much?

Enough empty promises!
Eternal Life would finally call Eternal Love’s bluff.


2 Responses to “Existential Risks in a World of Immortals”

  1. Padma Thornlyre says:

    Ah. This recalls my favorite novelist, Nikos Kazantzakis, whose 90-page prose poem, “Askitiki” (Spiritual Exercises) begins: “We come from a dark abyss, we end in a dark abyss, and we call the luminous interval life.” Indeed, that “risk” of death (a soft word: death is a certainty) is what makes the prize so luminous. And yet there are eternal moments, and they are usually states of love, I think, moments of ecstatic and electric tenderness that utterly erase the Abyss in their surrender to the heart. That, I think, is why Aphrodite appeared to us.

    • wordweed says:

      I’m unfamiliar with this prose poem, Padma. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! This poem was inspired by a friend who asked me what I thought might be the existential risks of living in a world in which there is no physical death. I think I realized in writing it that immortality would completely change our mythology, our motivations, our sense of beauty.

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