|Art by Agustin S. Lobos|
Provide your answers six feet below!
Can you measure the distance to your death? To the place where you're gonna get hit by a car? The room where your first lover cheated on you? The closest free hospital bed?
Does death take time? Lying awake in the middle of the night, clock ticking the empty seconds, your eyes freed of their focus on daily projects but still wide open, staring, waiting. The murky years when you grew up and forgot yourself; that time you started drinking vodka and popping pills at noon, hoping for a white coma, only to bounce back into putrid, stubborn awakeness; the moment when your parents showed signs of dementia and you realized your own birth would soon become aborted fiction.
Is death solid, liquid or a dark insidious gas? Is it loud like the screech of car tires or does it have the velvety texture of long silence? Does it taste like the placenta of a stillborn?
Does it stay the same or does it grow and breathe and multiply like living things? Was the Black Plague the daycare of death's offspring and the Great War their playground?
Does death spring between two people and binds them together like love or rope or venereal disease?
The trap under the sink has popped,
I opened the doors and, to the left of the garbage can, saw the rat twitching slightly,
its neck broken by the merciless spring-loaded bar, blood oozing from its mouth.
Then it went still, rigid, breathless, an object surrounded by objects,
its long tail curled into a question mark.