by isaac black

there are a lot of ways to stifle your fear of death
like compulsively finding the humor in everything—
everything, including abuse, war, anger, anxiety.
you could also use your imagination to visualize
the spectacular, excoriating finale to your galaxy,
something sublime regardless of whether the God
you’ve lost touch with presides over it.
you could contemplate the origins of your soul but
beginnings have a lot to do with endings, so don’t.
or, think of the inertia that propelled your life force
from the axes of space-time, a quantum, paisley
burst of poetic, foolish, heroic futility.
you could busy yourself with creating, and pretend
that creating is in some way a choice for you, that
it’s not a proxy for the children you’re beginning to
doubt that you’ll have. you could aggrieve yourself
with the suffering of the world and try with the full,
frail weight of your body to help the moral arc of the
universe bend faster. you could travel, you could
camp, you could take pictures of your friends jumping
from towering red cliffs into clear, chilly water and
then saddle up to get milkshakes. you could stuff
your senses with media all hours of the day, some
of it cultural, most mindless, until you can’t suffer
a single conversation without jumping at your
goddamn phone for notifications.
or you could pursue your own self-destruction at
the altar of commence, if hubris and irony are more
your speed. who am i to judge.
if you feel like facing your mortality on your own,
without talking, without vulnerability, without intimacy,
without family, seems like a hollow, paranoid project,
then i’m out of my depth. but i