by Gina Puorro www.ginapuorro.com

Death asked me to join him for dinner
so I slipped into my favorite black dress
that I had been saving for a special occasion
and let him walk me to our candlelit tryst.
He ordered a ribeye, extra rare
I ordered two desserts and red wine
and then I sipped
and wondered
why he looked so familiar
and smelled like earth and memory.
He felt like a place both faraway
and deep within my body
A place that whispers to me
on the crisp autumn breeze
along the liminal edges of dusk and dawn
somewhere between dancing
and stillness.
He looked at me
with the endless night sky in his eyes
and asked
‘Did you live your life, my love?’
As I swirled my wine in its glass
I wondered If I understood the thread I wove into the greater fabric
If I loved in a way that was deep and freeing
If I let pain and grief carve me into something more grateful
If I made enough space to be in awe that flowers exist
and take the time to watch the honeybees
drink their sweet nectar
I wondered what the riddles of regret and longing
had taught me
and if I realized just how
beautiful and insignificant and monstrous and small we are
for the brief moment that we are here
before we all melt back down
into ancestors of the land.
Death watched me lick buttercream from my fingers
As he leaned in close and said
‘My darling, it’s time.’
So I slipped my hand into his
as he slowly walked me home.
I took a deep breath as he leaned in close
for the long kiss goodnight
and I felt a soft laugh leave my lips
as his mouth met mine
because I never could resist a man
with the lust for my soul in his eyes
and a kiss that makes my heart stop.

Author’s note: A playful love poem to Death, because I want to remember to relate to it as a part of life, and in ways that exist outside of violence and brutality.

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