How To Save Yourself From Dying.

3 man resting

First there is dark fear and an anxious mind that gathers ’round your body like a trap.

 

Squeezing off oxygen, making muscles tighten and temperatures rise.

 

And when your mind is so deprived of air that it forgets to take the nourishment of your next breath, death becomes yours.

It is in breathing alone, that you become light.

 

Against its will, you must force your chest to rise; you must open your rib cage like a bellows.

 

Everything I’m describing happened to me as recently as this morning. I was powerless, I could do little more than recall that I was loved, at least a little, at least by someone.

And I took and nursed the thought like an ember. I blew on it, kept alive until I heard your voice.

 

I spoke plain words.

The more I spoke, the higher the flames rose. I said that I felt as though we were dreaming each other into being.

 

Those last words became my first breaths, and they opened me up for other breaths.

 

And in this way, I saved myself from going down into the grave.

 

***

To hear a spoken word version of this poem click here.

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2 thoughts on “How To Save Yourself From Dying.

  1. I disarm the anxious fear of death by confessing that I am not the center of the universe – this burden lifted allows me to pass from this life knowing that the *value* of all who I have loved and have loved me, is not sustained by my hand — so I am free to let go at any moment, because the very thing that makes my life significant will always remain.

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