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’s work can be found in The Fiddlehead, Exile: The Literary Quarterly, Wordgathering, Plenitude, Uncanny Magazine, as well as other magazines and anthologies. He is also the co-editor, with Navah Wolfe, of The Starlit Wood, which won the Shirley Jackson Award, and Robots vs Fairies. Dominik is a disabled, bisexual, French Canadian man. He lives in Toronto.

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