To a Dying Friend

“as old as old is able
to be and be there still”
Anne Sexton

You say, I was so beautiful once
but I never knew that ancient beauty
only this body like a forest fire
like a field of bones
its boundaries impossible
to distinguish from the bed sheet.

You say, I wish they’d let me die
in my red coat
but no, that thin blue robe is home.

You say, We are not really
here, in this now
and, true, together we are Janus.

You say, Tell me stories
I give you your words
a fashionista on a Vespa teasing dreams
and gas money out of officers
a fabric stitcher stitching knowing gods
are in her needle
a friend asking for a final sip
of whisky from my flask.

You say, Let us now drink
that great unknown
yes, here’s to all those stories never told.

Dominik Parisien

Dominik Parisien is an editor, poet, and writer. He is the co–editor, along with Navah Wolfe, of several anthologies for Saga Press, including The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales. He is also the editor of the first anthology of Canadian steampunk, Clockwork Canada (Exile Editions). He was an editorial assistant for various anthologies, including The Time Traveler’s Almanac (Tor), Sisters of the Revolution (PM Press), and The Bestiary (Centipede Press). Dominik’s fiction and poetry have appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Shock Totem, and several anthologies, including Imaginarium 2013: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing, The Playground of Lost Toys, Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monsters, and other venues. His fiction has twice been nominated for the Sunburst Award.

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