Death is not a reality, but the absence of a reality. ~Thomas Merton
They say I’m not dead yet,
but surely this is hell.
Not the inferno they preach,
but a sterile hallway, narrow
and lengthening beyond
my poor eyesight.
They say at the end of it,
there is light, but I’ve been there
and I can tell you, it’s a white wall
decorated with an oil-painted face
of God, hung to remind me of his absence,
how even he’s abandoned this place.
They tell me it’s Autumn.
So the ginkgos must be dressed in dying
leaves, baring branches as spindly
and useless as my bony limbs.
Who cares about the senseless seasons?
Only those who want to believe
there’s a reason to live past Winter
need the consolation of renewal.
Me, I’m waiting for tardy death
and wanting them to cover the damn window
so the sun stops mocking dawn and dusk
and finally shrivels the husk of belief in hours
and days, finally sheds the pretense of light.
They say dying is the absence of living,
but I can tell you it’s merely relief
from the illusions of concrete
things, like these brick walls and
this joke of a windowed view.
So, I sit here counting on absent-
minded death, hoping it too
has not abandoned me, wanting
that welcomed embrace when finally,
finally I become nothing.
© Ami Mattison
For One Stop Poetry's Sunday Picture Prompt Challenge
Photo courtesy of Greg Laychack