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November 3, 2023

This aging body

The other night, this aging body dreamt of death. It was wrapping itself in the bedsheets, twisting and turning. Its mind was terrified. It imagined the worst.

Like a wounded animal, this aging body took its breaths in quick gasps. Everything eventually comes to an end, it thought to himself. Too soon, too late; the body couldn’t bring itself to pray. Did the night seem longer than usual? Was that death knocking loudly at the door? The uneven somersaults and jolts of its old heart frightened the aging body.

The aging soul used to tell anyone who would listen that its battered body would live to be a hundred. And that night, death hovered above. Like a white-necked condor, an imaginary vulture watching its prey.

If I knew how to write as well as dolphins swim, I would have a real story to share with you this morning. But the time has come to let my fingers type freely, to let my imagination jump the fence of logic, undo the shenanigans of everyday life and dive head first into an ocean of new verses.

This aged body, this tarnished flesh
These crumbling legs, these arms that haunt me
This cracked neck, these bulging veins
This withered forehead, this decaying skin
These tired eyes, these faded irises
These deflated cheeks, these lukewarm smiles
This mistreated belly, these dull scars
These crumpled breasts, their faded nipples
These marbled hands, these bluish veins
These gnarly fingers, one climbing atop the other
These dented toes, big tired feet
This paunchy waist, ruined appearance
This clumsy back that carries its cross

Age sneaks up on me and devours me like a wolf
I run and run, I cry out for help
Whatever happens, I’m adrift
In the den of time, all I hear is the wind
Inevitable loneliness, alone at the table
Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, I am numb
I feel death ripening inside me, like a clinging fruit, a persistent sun
My senses fall silent, my heart finally settles
A scent of raspberries lingering on my neck
I grieve, I cry; my time has come
Falling asleep like Ophelia, rosewater in my bed
Last wishes, first shovelfuls of earth
I’ll see no more spring, no more bright autumn, no more sleepy winter

Slowly my memory dims
I forget my name, my age and the colours of my life
I’m strong, I’m dead
There’s that little ant sound that stops at the end