No one around, pre-dawn, below zero.
It's January. Air thick and still. Fire face
down in the coals. Dog barks frozen in their jaws.
Everything's stopped. I have to ask myself
"Am I breathing?"
So maybe I died. Maybe the stars are dead scarab
beetles stuck to the wall of darkness. Maybe
the pale trees are ghosts, the ghosts of everything
but trees. Maybe I don't move through these rooms
at all. They move through me.
Is this what death is? Eternally asking myself
am I dead? No birds fly. No leaves rustle. Nothing
moves on the street below. There's just these
inquiries of myself. There's just this long, dark
echo of a question.
Is this cryonics? Did I pay good money
to have my body frozen in liquid nitrogen for
one hundred and fifty years? Is winter time
always one hundred and fifty years later
and nothing's changed.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.