Death's Promise

Relentless in his pursuit, Death 
is the one suitor I cannot resist.
Like most men who court me, he
doesn’t know the definition
of no, but he has only ever 
treated me holy
-a thing I have always yearned for
and fell short of- 
lusting after my body
with purer intentions
than his contemporaries,
and I believe him. His love
is close enough to worship
almost enough
to accept; it’s comforting to know
that even gods sin,
that even absolutes can pray-
but I remain,
marble-set hands
pinned close to my heart.


Death never falters
at this lack of movement. 
Rather, it inspires in him
a softer heart, a warmer smile
an ease in his attention
but never a cease in his intentions. 
He sends a bouquet of books,
pressed flowers blooming from
its pages, the imprint of life 
being a color the petals used to be. 
He sends display cases and belljars
butterfly domes 
with their corpses pinned
-just like my hands-
their wings unfurled
letting ghosts run through
the glint of iridescence 
in their scales; these are 
gifts of assurance:
even dead things
are beautiful.
And I believe him. 

And I will my hands
to stay close to my heart, 
Remind my fingers
of the synecdoche they hold
for my body. That we 
still have more to discover
of ourself before we try
to melt into something new-
Death will wait. He 
has only ever sent promises 
of future, he will love me then
as he does now. 
And I believe him.
For now, I will my hands
close to my heart,
my fingers can unfurl
and entwine with his

This poem is about: 


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741