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 the author of the poetry collection Side Effects May Include Strangers and the co-editor of Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction with Elsa Sjunneson and The Mythic Dream, Robots VS Fairies, and The Starlit Wood with Navah Wolfe. Dominik is a disabled, bisexual French Canadian. He lives in Hamilton, ON.

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