Dressed in silky black, spider tattoos crawling across her face,
Holding a bottle of beer and cigarette papers on one hand,
knocking at my door with a grin on her face and a smirk in her eye,
watching the random chaos inside my living room die down
as I open the door to let the two-legged demon in
“Haven’t seen you in a long time, Death, how’s it going?”
Polite nods all around, as everyone is forced into a monologue of their lives.
Listing our achievements and regrets in bullet points:
I still haven’t traveled because of this.
I still haven’t left him because of that.
Gulps and shoulders tensed, wasted time drawn out into the awkward silence
that Death forces us to realize.
“I missed you this time,” she says, taunting us with a long, black fingernail,
“But don’t think I won’t in a few months –”
Who let her in? someone mouths, trying to displace blame,
trying to delay the inevitable.
Death giggles as she circles the room and points
to the things that led her there–
Mini Ziploc bags imprinted with skulls, full ashtrays carrying a pyramid of cigarettes,
empty take-out containers breeding in a corner,
half-written suicide notes constantly updated by the year.
Everyone is stunned, looking at each other with wide-set eyes,
Temporarily we promise never to fall back into old habits,
Some of us even don masks and pretend to be born again.
We slip into blazers and formal pant suits, and gather around in silence,
so carefully nitpicking subjects and topics deemed most appropriate–
We hide behind polite gestures and senseless apologies,
all the while stepping into the surreal in-between of the post-mortem,
up until the next one goes.
After she leaves, everyone relaxes,
And slowly pick up barely visible threads of old lives.
What used to feel like the end slowly gets better,
Never thought losing someone can become hauntingly familiar.
Enough to welcome Recklessness and Excuses back into our every day,
until, of course, Death decides to slyly curtsey back into her party dress,
And ruin everybody’s high by knocking on our door.