“Most things may never happen; this one will”—Philip Larkin
I know the truth about my death:
I will not live beyond this place.
I have no soul apart from flesh
To writhe in flames, or kneel in grace.
My parents passed along the lies
Their parents told them way back when.
And so I learned to carry on
The wishful thinking of dead men.
Our conscious minds push back at death
Fearing that nothingness will sting,
Still clinging to self-consciousness,
Insisting we’ll be there to cling.
Death could be simple, but we’re taught
To make it monstrous by denying
That our self-consciousness will cease,
As if we’re never really dying.
And yet, each moment brings the end
Of all I’ve ever known as “me.”
But since it’s always happening,
Dying is continuity.