Dead fish float
on the surface of dead waters.
I wake up suffocating.
There’s a presence
in the room.
Is this what it’s like
to die? To be alive
as the world dies?
Whatever is in the room with me
won’t explain. Won’t say why here,
I roll over to try and sleep
on my side. I’ve been told
it’s better for me. I don’t recall
who told me. It may be a lie.
The One in my room lifts its arms.
All that has died blazes back to life.
Fish swarming silver across
a pulsing sea. Vanished birds
overhead. My grandparents,
All that has
vanished — or is this also a lie?
Once gone, always gone.
the taste of smoked salmon,
The Presence tells me
mercury-souled, foul as sodden cashmere
neglected in an unemptied washer.
Is this also a lie? The world is
ending, to be fair. Truth seems to be
going with it, to return at some point
when it matters again.
I roll over
on my side as I’ve been told to do
and try to get back to sleep
in a room filled with
the fragrance of lilies
without a lily in sight.