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to die awake

i want to die awake
with my soul like a mouth
and the nostrils of my belief expanding
as runners in mid race
my senses made infant again
cradled by saliva and sweet milk and
a mother’s christening heat

i want to die awake
with flesh wrapped hopes
and dirt beneath my fingernails
eyes wide like faucets
ears pressed against the earth
and with my tongue i want to taste
a knew language

i want to die awake
before the fall of dreams
beyond the hum of bedtime tales
unframed by glass stained and leaden
outside the regularity of the hospital wall
all these that turn me from the true
and march me to the yawning grate

i want to die
as if by my own hand
i want to die
on the day before
i want to die
with time left and right
and love more than a memory full in between

i want to die
as if
as i
as am
as now
and know
yes, this is mine

To Die Awake © 2000 by Tobin James Mueller
"Falling Past Love" published by ArtsForge Press.
All rights reserved.